Although he was four weeks premature, Levi was born healthy, but at two weeks old, he went into shock. Emergency surgery revealed a birth defect called malrotation. With malrotation, the intestine is not anchored inside the abdomen. This allowed the intestine to move freely causing a volvulus, or kink, on the main intestinal artery, resulting in small intestine necrosis. Levi’s necrotic intestine was removed, but his weight was inadequate for transplant candidacy at that time. In order to gain sufficient weight, Levi was placed on IV nutrition (TPN). However, extended use of TPN causes liver failure, meaning Levi also needed a new liver. Levi became listed at 4 months old. After several months and hospitalizations, Levi received his gift of life (small intestine, liver and pancreas) on March 7th, 2008 at 8 months old.
Since transplantation, Levi has done wonderfully. At 2 years old, Levi’s preparing to participate in the 2010 National Transplant Games.
March 2015 post transplant life.
Since his transplant, Levi has participated in the National Kidney Foundation’s Transplant Games when he was only 3. He won 2 medals in 2 events! He now eats whatever he wants and is growing like a weed. He is now 7 years old and just celebrated his 7th transplant anniversary or “belly birthday” as he calls it. He is in 2nd grade and does well in school. He loves his stuffed animals, standing on his hands and doing cartwheels in the living room. He helps the Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates by showing that he’s now a normal 7 year old boy, all thanks to organ donation. He’s been on posters, flyers, cookbooks, newspapers, all promoting organ donation, in hopes more lives like his will be saved.
Summer of 2014. This past summer, we had the privilege of meeting Levi’s donor mom by mere chance while on vacation in New England. It was the best experience. We are so lucky to have her in our lives now. To thank her in person for the gift she selflessly gave us, was a wish come true.
Levi amazes us every day and we are so thankful for every blessing God has given us.