Pediatric Transplant Center | Patient Stories

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Contact the Pediatric
Transplant Center
877-894-7337
International: +1-617-355-5209
transplant@childrens.harvard.edu

A transplant is a life-changing event extending far beyond the operating room, the clinics and the hospital walls. Learn more about the every day lives touched by transplant.

Read about our patients and their families whose remarkable experiences give the transplant journey a voice and offer hope and help to others who are beginning their journey.

Lucas, who had a 5-organ transplant, is held in his mom's arms

INTESTINE AND MULTIVISCERAL PROGRAM
Two life-threatening conditions. One remarkable wish.
When Lucas blew out the five candles on his birthday cake, he made just one wish — to be just like any other kid. Learn how Lucas confronted multiple medical challenges to become the boy he always wanted to be

Isabella looks at her sister Melissa. Both girls were born with biliary atresia.

LIVER PROGRAM
Sharing biliary atresia — and strength to beat it
For most parents, having just one child with a rare, life-threatening disease is overwhelming, but imagine having two – both of whom need transplants. Read about the Villaseñor family and their remarkable resilience.

Maggie, a double-lung transplant recipient, holding a #becauseofadonor sign

ALL PROGRAMS
Milestones made possible #becauseofadonor
Organ donors open a world of possibility to recipients. In April 2017, we celebrated Donate Life Month at Boston Children's Hospital by honoring some of our amazing patients and their milestones made possible #becauseofadonor.

Kaitlyn, left, and Hannah, right, who received her liver

LIVER PROGRAM
A life taken. A life given. A life shared.
Melissa Dunphe just knew. She knew that the child, who was at the same hospital on the same floor on the same day, had to be the one who received her daughter's liver. Read how fate, loss and circumstance united two families.

Aidan making a pizza

ALL PROGRAMS
My blue-eyed boy: The decision to donate life
A mom remembers her son Aidan and her family's decision to donate his organs. “When they first asked us to consider donation, before my husband or I could even open our mouths, it was Aidan’s older brother and sister that said we were going to do it.”

Tom, a liver transplant recipient, crossing the Boston Marathon finish line

LIVER PROGRAM
Paying it 26.2 miles forward
Meet 21-year-old liver transplant recipient Tom, a three-time Boston Marathon runner. “When you are running, you are putting your body through so much. It’s an emotional rollercoaster, like living with liver disease, but that feeling of crossing the finish line — it’s proof that anything is possible.”​

Joe who was born with corrected transposition of the great arteries, with his dog

HEART PROGRAM
Mending a ‘backward’ heart
Not every patient we care for is a child, and some patients have been with us since birth — like Joe, whose heart would be fine… if it weren’t backwards. Read how Boston Children’s Hospital has medically and surgically managed Joe’s rare condition for the past 33 years.

Kidney transplant recipient Sarah with her mom

ALL PROGRAMS
Post-transplant tips & tricks from families who’ve been through it
Transplant recipients typically feel stronger and more energetic following transplant recovery. But returning to regular activities, sports and travel can be challenging. A few “transplant moms,” who’ve already been through the experience, share their wisdom and advice.

HEART PROGRAM
Happy birthday to my heart
Twenty red heart-shaped balloons and a wall-to-wall banner welcome Erin Geraghty home from college. It’s not her birthday — she’s 21. It’s not her graduation — she’s a first-semester University of New Hampshire senior. And it’s not Valentine’s Day. It’s her 20th year with the same heart.

LIVER PROGRAM
A mom gives life twice with living-donor liver transplant
Dawn did not think twice about donating a portion of her liver to save her 13-year-old daughter Lydia. “As far as I'm concerned, my role in this life is to care for my kids,” says Dawn. “And if I have to give a part of myself to do that, that's all there is to it.” Learn more about Lydia's life-saving transplant.

Dean, the 300th heart transplant recipient at Boston Children's

HEART PROGRAM
Two-year-old twin makes history after receiving hospital’s 300th heart transplant
Two-year-old Dean from Marshfield, Massachusetts, is marking milestones and making history by becoming the 300th heart-transplant recipient at Boston Children's Hospital. Read about Dean and his transplant journey.

Transplant surgeon Dr. Vakili with 5-organ transplant recipient Lucas

ALL PROGRAMS
Saving six: Life before and after transplant
Read the inspiring stories of five children, one young adult — and their families — whose lives were forever changed by organ transplantation and the Pediatric Transplant Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Nicole and her twin sister Isabella. Nicole received a heart transplant on Christmas Eve.

HEART PROGRAM
Double the joy, following heart-lung transplant
Meet Nicole, an identical twin born with a ventricular septal defect and pulmonary hypertension, who after five months waiting in the hospital, received a very special gift on Christmas Eve — a new heart and a pair of lungs.

Tina Medina, the 22nd heart transplant recipient at Boston Children's and her son Luke, who also needs a transplant

HEART PROGRAM
Three decades beat as one: 30 years of heart transplants
Doctors at Boston Children's performed their first heart transplant 30 years ago, on May 16, 1986. Find out how the Heart Transplant Program has evolved and innovated over the last three decades and learn about transplant recipients like Tina Medina, who was the 22nd heart-transplant patient.

Mary with her son Joe, who received a kidney donation from his aunt

KIDNEY PROGRAM
Kidney donation runs in the family
Mary Abbott comes from a long line of kidney donors. So, when her 19-year-old son, Joseph, an honor student and varsity soccer player, born with Alport syndrome, found himself needing a kidney, his mom’s cousin Susie doesn’t hesitate to offer hers.

Born with HLHS, Josh received a heart transplant

HEART PROGRAM
Joshua’s journey to heart transplant
Nineteen-year-old Joshua has been a patient at Boston Children’s Hospital his entire life. Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart disease, Josh required five open-heart surgeries before receiving a heart transplant in 2014.

Liver transplant recipients Brent and Malambo

LIVER PROGRAM
Liver brothers: Two lives linked by split-liver transplant
A 19-year-old from Maine and a 20-month-old born in Zambia seem like an unlikely pair — but one night, one donor and two transplants would create an extraordinary connection. Read about Brent and his "liver brother" Malambo, two lives forever linked by split-liver transplant.

Living donor liver transplant recipient Gavin with his mom

KIDNEY PROGRAM
Gavin’s kidney transplant: A big gift for the ‘little man’
There is more to the gaze of 21-month-old Gavin than meets the eye. Born with end-stage renal disease, he needed a kidney transplant, and his mom's best friend just happened to be a match. Read about the power of friendship and the selfless gift of organ donation.

Heart transplant recipient TJ with his dad

ALL PROGRAMS
Anatomy of a transplant: 13 lives, 17 days
When TJ Gregory received a heart transplant he was one of 13 lives saved by organ transplantation in just 17 days. Seven kidneys, three hearts, two livers and one pair of lungs were transplanted during the record-breaking month.

Kidney transplant recipients Ayden and Aubrey

KIDNEY PROGRAM
When Ayden met Aubrey: Kidney transplant creates a powerful bond between toddlers
Theirs is a friendship nurtured by coloring books, built on board games and mad dashes down corridors — but also silently strengthened by nature of a mutual struggle. Read about the powerful bond between 3-year-old Ayden and 2-year-old Aubrey during their kidney transplant journey.

Intestine and kidney transplant recipient

KIDNEY PROGRAM AND INTESTINE AND MULTIVISCERAL PROGRAM
Nathan’s wild ride: An appendectomy, two transplants and the journey ahead
At age 15, Nathan's appendix ruptured, triggering a series of events that turned his world upside down. Complications from an appendectomy led to multiple organ failure. Learn about Nathan's wild ride from typical teen to kidney and intestinal transplant recipient to future veterinarian.

Organ donation

ALL PROGRAMS
In their own words: Six families share the impact of organ donation
The holidays are a season for gratitude and giving, a time to celebrate friends, family, the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. But for a select group, it also is a time to celebrate one of the greatest gifts — the gift of life through organ donation.

Medication adherence

ALL PROGRAMS
Mapping a way to medication adherence
Medication adherence can be critical to a transplant recipient's long-term health, but taking multiple medications daily is often overwhelming, particularly for adolescents and young adults. Read how two transplant recipients make medication a part of their daily routine.

Heart transplant recipient Kenny

HEART PROGRAM
Kenny’s story: Paying it forward, 15 years post-heart transplant
How many people can say their employer once helped save their life? Kenny Laferriere has been working for the New England Organ Bank for eight years, and in January 2016, he celebrated the 15th anniversary of his heart transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Pediatric Heart Transplant

HEART PROGRAM
Danny Strong: High school athlete battles heart failure, gets transplant
Danny became concerned about a mysterious decline in his health. Once second nature, football plays became strenuous, and he struggled breathing. Eventually, he felt weak just walking up stairs. He was in heart failure — and about to face the toughest summer of his life.

Pediatric Heart Transplant

HEART PROGRAM
Alina’s story, looking back on a heart transplant
At just 4 years old, Alina Siman from Honduras went into heart failure. Mechanical assistance from a Berlin Heart kept her alive until she could have a heart transplant. Now 8, Alina is thriving and loves visiting Boston for check-ups.

Pediatric Lung Transplant

LUNG PROGRAM
Bobby Donovan’s double lung transplant journey
In April of 2014, with his lungs not expected to last the year, Bobby Donovan—who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was 4 months old—received the double lung transplant, which not only saved, but transformed his life.

Pediatric Liver Transplant recipient

LIVER PROGRAM
Meet Phoebe: Swimmer, soccer player, gymnast and liver transplant recipient
Shortly after her birth, Phoebe was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare disorder that prevents bile ducts in the liver from draining correctly. The diagnosis led the Root family to Boston Children’s Hospital for treatment.

Pediatric Liver Transplant

LIVER PROGRAM
Full circle: Transplant recipient returns as a transplant nurse
Born with biliary atresia, New England's first living donor liver transplant recipient Laurie Lukianov spent much of her childhood in a hospital, and remarkably that's where the 26-year-old wants to spend her career.

Pediatric Kidney Transplant

KIDNEY PROGRAM
The magical power of organ donation
31-year-old organ donor Kevin Sullivan gave the gift of life to three people including 2-year-old Julian Molina-Cordero, who was born with a condition called posterior urethral valves. “Kevin saved my son’s life,” says Julian's mom. “It changed all our lives. Now Kevin lives on in Julian.”

Pediatric Kidney Transplant

KIDNEY PROGRAM
From Abu Dhabi to Boston: Brothers’ bond runs deep through kidney donation
Relocation from Abu Dhabi to Boston and a selfless act meant nothing to Ahmed Al Shukri, when his brother Saeed desperately needed a kidney transplant. “I didn’t care about myself. I was just thinking about my brother, about the kidney and if this was going to help him.”

Pediatric Kidney Transplant

KIDNEY PROGRAM
Kidney swap saves two lives, eternally links two families
When Dillon McCarty was 13, he received a special gift from stepfather Nicholas Gula—a new kidney. But Gula didn’t donate his kidney to Dillon. Instead, he gave it to a 29-year-old man also in need of a kidney transplant in Atlanta. And in return, the man’s wife gave her kidney to Dillon.

Pediatric Heart Transplant

HEART PROGRAM
Heart transplant patient brings home the gold
In addition to winning gold for her softball throw, 10-year-old Alexia Clinton won silver in both swimming and long jump and bronze in cornhole. When you consider the fact that she had a heart transplant at the tender age of three, these accomplishments are all the more astonishing.

Pediatric Liver Transplant

LIVER PROGRAM
Remembering one of Boston Children’s earliest liver transplants
When Michael “Mick” Devlin was born in 1987 with a very serious condition called ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency, his parents were sure of two things: they loved him, and they would cherish every minute they had together because no one knew how many they had left. 

Pediatric Kidney Transplant story

KIDNEY PROGRAM
From patient to advocate
Eight weeks after first coming to Boston Children’s, doctors decided to remove Rachael’s failing kidneys to help control her blood pressure. She spent the next month on dialysis but then received her donor kidney and began taking those first steps on the road to recovery.

Pediatric Liver Transplant story

LIVER PROGRAM
The power of a mother’s love: Kenny and Nancy’s story
Kenny and his mother have a lot in common, like their shared sense of humor or their mutual love of shopping. While every mother and son relationship is special, Kenny and his mom share a bond that is very unique—the kind of connection that’s only truly understood by a small group of people.

Pediatric Liver Transplant

LIVER PROGRAM
Saving Sam: specialized liver transplant gives newborn a second shot at life
For most first-time parents, the initial weeks of caring for a new baby can be nerve-wracking. But, the first month of parenting for Kevin and Maureen Sturtevant was nothing short of terrifying. Their son Sam was diagnosed as having an enterovirus, which was affecting all his organs, especially his liver.

Pediatric Lung Transplant

LUNG PROGRAM
Unique treatment method offers hope to child with severe pulmonary hypertension
When Danny Martinez came to Boston from Florida he was very sick. At the time the young boy was suffering from severe pulmonary hypertension, a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart.

Pediatric HeartTransplant

HEART PROGRAM
Sports and Life Lessons Collide at World Transplant Games
Tough times never last, but tough people do. "This is what I told myself every single day that I battled severe dilated cardiomyopathy. And the phrase stayed with me for the months after my eventual heart transplant."

Pediatric Heart Transplant

HEART PROGRAM
From the surgical suite to the winner’s podium
Brothers Brock and Connor Marvin have a lot in common. They’re both affable, active young men who love watching and playing sports.They were also both born with a genetic heart condition so severe it would require them to receive heart transplants within a year and a half of each other.

Pediatric Liver Transplant

LIVER PROGRAM
Saving Reagan: The power of split liver transplants
When Reagan Devlin was born in 2004, her parents Teresa and Bryan were overjoyed. But that joy quickly turned to concern when they learned she might have a rare liver disorder called patent ductus venosus. Within 48 hours, the Devlins were boarding a flight to Boston.

Pediatric Liver Transplant

LIVER PROGRAM
The race to save Hannah
After she was stricken with a serious illness almost overnight, and then rushed to Boston Children’s Hospital where in a matter of hours she received multiple treatments—including an extremely rare liver transplant—Hannah Swift could be the most aptly named eleven-year-old in the world.

Pediatric Heart Transplant

HEART PROGRAM
A new approach to treating children awaiting heart transplant
After Kyah was diagnosed with heart failure, doctors said it could take up to a year or longer before she was ready for a heart transplant. But through research, doctors implanted a portable, motorized pump in her heart, allowing her to live a normal life while she awaited a transplant.

Pediatric Kidney TransplantKIDNEY PROGRAM
Changing the face of Midaortic Syndrome treatment to save Sofia
Marcus Groff, father of Sofia described in the The American Journal of Transplantation, writes about his daughter’s revolutionary surgery—a first-of-its-kind treatment for midaortic syndrome—at Boston Children’s.

Pediatric Heart TransplantHEART PROGRAM
Mickey’s got heart
When Mickey was born it was confirmed that he had a congenital heart defect called a double outlet right ventricle with coarctation of the aorta as well as hypoplastic left heart syndrome and severe tricuspid valve disease.

Pediatric Kidney TransplantKIDNEY PROGRAM
Yahya’s journey
A person—especially a child—can only undergo dialysis for so long before the body begins to revolt. Yahya Ahmad Masalma's blood vessels were damaged and failing. The only way he could survive was to get a kidney transplant.

Pediatric Kidney TransplantKIDNEY PROGRAM
A new kidney for Andrew
Andrew’s name was added to the national donor list. But before a transplant could be found, one of Andrew’s kidneys took a turn for the worse. It was decided that it needed to be removed and Andrew would be put on dialysis, which would take the place of his kidney until a donor could be found.

Pediatric Kidney TransplantKIDNEY PROGRAM
Paving the way for a perfect match
Sarah Pastore was born with bright blue eyes, a beautiful smile and a single, failing kidney. She fared well in her first few months, but by the time she approached her first birthday her prognosis was clear: without a kidney transplant the little girl from North Reading, Mass., was sure to die.

Pediatric Heart TransplantHEART PROGRAM
A new heart for Jack
My son Jack was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a congenital heart defect where the left half of his heart didn’t develop normally when he was in the womb. At just two days old he began showing symptoms and was rushed to Boston Children’s Hospital.

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337

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