Yesterday I wrote about a 13 month old boy who lived for 120 days with an artificial heart outside his body, today we hear about Elijah Moulton who is recovering in hospital after doctors transplanted five intestinal organs to cure a rare congenital ailment. Elijah is only 8 months old and his condition has only been seen once before in the United States.
He is headed for rehab at a Queens hospital now that he’s recovered from surgery that replaced his liver, small bowel, pancreas, colon and stomach.
“This was a really sick kid with no hope of survival,” said Kara Ventura, a nurse practitioner at New York-Presbyterian who oversaw Elijah’s care.
Elijah’s surgeon, Dr. Dominique Jan, said that without the surgery Elijah would have died of malnourishment and infections. “Everything was abnormal,” Jan said.
Elijah was born Oct. 15 with total intestinal atresia, a malformation of the gastrointestinal tract that Jan said was once reported in a child in Nebraska. Because of the ailment, Elijah took all his nourishment intravenously.
His doctors in Burlington, Vt., referred Elijah to New York-Presbyterian, where he was first admitted in January. New York state troopers flew him to the city on the governor’s plane, Ventura said.
It took several months to prepare Elijah for surgery. “With the help of his parents, we reached a point where the baby was healthy enough to undergo a successful transplantation,” Jan said.
After the July 10 transplant, his abdomen was kept open for several weeks so his body could get used to its new organs. Elijah had another operation to close the wound.
“It’s amazing how quickly he’s recovered,” Ventura said – noting that he’s already eating through his mouth, “which he’d never been able to do his whole life.”
His mom and dad hope that in a week or two, Elijah will be headed home – where his 3-year-old sister, Chloe, and 5-year-old brother, Gavin, eagerly await his return. “They haven’t seen him since his transplant,” Heather Moulton said.
I love posting stories that have such an amazing outcome.
Just because it hasn’t been done many times before, it doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you. This little boy has an amazing drive to live. His spirit is a good portion of his success!