Brian Munn’s liver has saved his newborn son, Caleb.
The baby was born with biliary astresia – or BA. The condition causes the bile ducts to become blocked and inflamed not long after birth. Because of this condition, bile remained in Caleb’s liver and quickly began to destroy healthy livers cells – causing cirrhosis or “scarring of the liver.”
Although the development of jaundice after birth is fairly common, Brian Munn’s baby son still suffered from the condition when he was 3-months-old. Brittany Munn, 27, and her husband, 30, took little Caleb to the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York for testing. The doctors ultimately diagnosed the baby with end-stage liver disease.
— Montefiore (@MontefioreNYC) June 8, 2015
Montefiore Einstein Center for Transplation Chief Dr. Milan Kinkhabwala told the media that biliary astresia is a rare condition in infants. Dr. Kinkhabwala also noted that BA is “one of the most common contributors” to pediatric liver disease in infants.
Brian Munn and Caleb’s family began looking for a suitable organ donor nearly immediately after a Kasei procedure failed to yield a positive result. A matching relative could donate a portion of their live to the baby boy
“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 Munn said during an interview with Fox News. Because she had given birth less than six months prior, the mother was reportedly not considered a viable liver donor.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) June 1, 2015
Brian Munn did not initially complete a liver donor form because he already knew he and Caleb did not share a matching blood type. When the Montefoire Medical Center doctors informed Munn that infants under 1-year-old are able to accept an organ form a donor with a different blood type, the father quickly filled out the necessary forms for testing.
“That day, I was ready to hop on the operating table, as soon as they told me,” Brian Munn 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 Munn added. “[Caleb is] doing really well considering it’s only been three months post-transplant. A lot of people see pictures of him now and actually almost forget when you look at him what he’s been through.”
Brian Munn’s liver saved his baby son when they both had surgery on March 20. The father donated a portion of his liver to the baby. After a few complications, little Caleb is now reportedly recovering well from the liver donation.
“We are so thankful that the doctors were so quick, so decisive and 100 percent both times,” Brian Munn said.
Caleb is still reportedly still forced to take nine medications on a daily basis, but his parents say that is a lot better than the 15 he was originally prescribed. Caleb Munn will reportedly have to take immunosuppressant medication his entire life.