Brian Munn’s liver has saved his newborn son.
Brian Munn’s son Caleb was born with biliary atresia (BA). According to the Liver Foundation, with biliary atresia “the bile ducts become inflamed and blocked soon after birth. This causes bile to remain in the liver, where it starts to destroy liver cells rapidly and cause cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver.”
Many babies develop jaundice after birth, but at 3-months-old, Caleb’s had still not went away. That is when his parents Brian, 30, and Brittany, 27, took him to Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. Once they arrived and tests were done, Caleb was diagnosed with end-stage liver disease.
“I guess I was kind of anticipating [the diagnosis], just with the Googling I was doing … but I wasn’t expecting it to be as severe as it was, so it was definitely a shock,” Brittany told FoxNews.
Dr. Milan Kinkhabwala, the chief of the division of transplantation at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplantation, told the news site that BA is a rare condition in infants, but is also one of the most common contributors to pediatric liver disease in infants.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) June 1, 2015
The family immediately started searching for a viable organ donor to donate a portion of their liver to their son after a Kasei procedure failed. While Brittany was a match for Caleb, she was not yet six months postpartum, making her unable to donate, according to the Daily Caller.
Brian originally didn’t fill out a donor form because he knew that he and Caleb did not have matching blood types. However, after doctors questioned him and explained that children under 1-year-old can receive an organ with a different blood type, Brian immediately filled out the form.
“That day, I was ready to hop on the operating table, as soon as they told me,” Brian said.
“I’ve always heard that you can’t mix [different] blood types because all these issues arise, but for them to say… it’s really not a big deal because he wasn’t over 1 year of age, it took a bit to retrain my mind,” Brittany added.
— Montefiore (@MontefioreNYC) June 8, 2015
Brian and Caleb underwent surgery on March 20, with Bryan donating a portion of his liver to his son. After a couple of complications, Caleb started recovering well from the surgery.
“We are so thankful that the doctors were so quick, so decisive and 100 percent both times,” Brian said.
On April 13, Caleb, now 9-months-old, was finally released to go home, and has been under the care of a local pediatrician. While he is still taking nine medications, that is a lot better than the 15 he was originally taking. However, he will have to take immunosuppressant medication his whole life.
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