Alex, 17 years old
At age two, Alex was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that led to his needing a liver transplant. Though successful, later complications required two additional surgeries. He was enrolled in the Community PedsCare program eight years ago and prior to and during that time, has required many medical treatments and hospitalizations.
In 2012, the doctors knew there was nothing else to be done except for Alex to have a second liver transplant. After applying to three other children's hospitals with liver transplant programs, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh accepted Alex into its transplant program. Alex had many incidents during the 18 months that he waited for his gift of life, including internal bleeding. In November 2013, Alex and his mother went by air ambulance to Pittsburgh where they waited until January 2014 for a liver that was a good match. He had what is called a domino transplant, wherein a child with a specific metabolic disease gets a donor liver, and then in turn, that child's liver was given to Alex. His family was blessed to be able to meet his donor, Arim, and her beautiful family from Kuwait who had been waiting for 18 months for their daughter's gift of life as well. Alex and his family spent seven months in Pittsburgh at Ronald McDonald House during the transplant time and recuperation.
Currently, Alex is doing exceptionally well in school, getting straight As through his entire myriad of treatments, including several types of infusion medications, chemotherapy and surgical procedures. He will continue to have many struggles with medical issues from long-term use of some medications and infections, but his strong spirit and determination continue serving him well. Alex and his mother will be going back to Pittsburgh for a second surgery to close the abdominal muscle wall this spring, which will be one more step in getting Alex back to a more normal life.
“We are so grateful, as always to Community PedsCare for their continued support with nursing, counseling and other services,” said Alex’s mom. Alex is active on the program’s Teen Advisory Board, providing great ideas and insight into supporting Community PedsCare patients and families.