Father's sacrifice saves little boy's life
WORCESTER, Mass. -- A little boy in Worcester got a new lease on life when his father donated a piece of his own liver to save him.
9-month old Tristan Theerman lights up any room. He sits up; he rolls over and says “Dada” -- pretty appropriate considering he got his liver from dad.
“We knew it was very serious,” Jeremy Theerman said. “But we also knew that there was a solution.”
Tristan suffers from a very rare liver disorder called biliary artresia. At just a few weeks old, mom and dad were told that their baby needed a new liver.
Tristan went on a donor list, but there was no movement.
“After waiting on the list for three to four weeks without a suitable deceased donor, the call from Children’s says we have to move forward,” Denise Morin, Tristan’s donor coordinator, said. “They were concerned with letting much more than 72 hours go by in terms of the baby surviving.”
Before he knew it, Jeremy was at Lahey Clinic and Tristan was at Children’s Hospital. Both surgeries happened within hours of each other.
“It was extremely emotional that day,” Caroline Theerman, Tristan’s mother, said. “I had my parents with me and we just -- it was tough.”
Two months later, doctors said both Tristan and Jeremy were recovering beautifully.
“If you think something’s wrong, don’t hesitate to raise that problem to your physicians and do whatever you think is necessary,” Jeremy said.
The donor coordinator met Tristan for the first time Thursday. She said both Tristan and his father will live long and healthy lives, though Tristan will need to be on medication for the rest of his life.
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