Update: What happens next - The Transplant? 10/13
A lot of you have asked me to explain what actually happens and the process for a transplant because let’s be honest most of the population does not know about this - unless you have had someone in your world go through this experience - so I thought I would take some time to share with you what will happen during Brodie’s “LIVER BIRTHDAY” or “Transplant Day” and the recovery period.
First here is some interesting Liver 101
Our liver is the 2nd largest organ besides the skin
Our liver performs over 200+ functions for the body all at once
Our liver is the only organ that GROWS BACK or regenerates - cool huh?
Sooooooooo to the best of my current understanding here is what will be unraveling…
Sunday - 10/18
We will both (Brodie (Russ will be with our guy) and Me) be admitted into the hospital (Cleveland Clinic Main Campus)
Monday - 10/19
The “games” begin - And may the Odds be ever in our favor….
7AM Traci gets sent down to the OR - surgery should last appx 4 hours
They will remove 25% of my liver and gallbladder and immediately transport my liver over to Brodie
Your LIVER is UNDER YOUR RIGHT RIBCAGE
My scar will be from where my bra-line is to right above my belly button a straight line down (there is a possibility they my have to make a backwards L for access but TBD based on accessibility)
12PM Traci will be out of surgery if everything was on time and proceeded as anticipated
Later on that afternoon / evening I should be able to “sit-up” I will be in the SICU recovering
The next day I will be transferred to a different area and I should be able to start walking - just a little - more and more with each day
I will not be able to put shirts over my head that will hurt too badly
1 - 2 Weeks Post Transplant
My LIVER WILL 100% be back to normal size
4 - 6 weeks Post Transplant
No lifting anything over 5 lbs - which includes Brodie and Harper annnnnd laundry baskets and other household chore-like things so I guess this is the silver lining
6 months Post Transplant
No drinking alcohol
For Life Post Transplant
No more liver donations - sorry y’all heart emoticon
730AM - Brodie gets sent down to the OR - Russ will take him down and walk him to the doors) his surgery should last appx 8 - 12 hours
Russ’ friends / family - love my big guy - I cannot fathom going through this - send him texts, emails and messages to help alleviate some of the insanity that he will be going through!
They will remove Brodie’s liver and Gallbladder and completely replace his liver with mine
They will create all of the ducts and connections - just like it was his liver originally connected and created. SO AMAZING.
Brodie’s scar will be ginormous and pretty malicious - it will be either an upside down Y going from one side of his little tummy all the way to the other side and up to his “bra-line” OR it will be a straight line.
This is closed with stitches and staples
He will be immediately admitted to the PICU and stay “in an induced sleep” for at least 1-2 days - depending on how he responds to everything he will be sedated for this time and will not be responsive to us - this is so his body can focus on healing (this will be terrifying)
He will have many lines in that they will eventually take out one by one…(this will be terrifying)
Venilator (to help breathing0
T-tube to drain bile
IV tubes / catheters
How long will he be in the hospital?
2 weeks - 2 months
Average is 2 - 3 weeks
This will depend on how things go and how he recover
What happens after the surgery?
The immune system will not recognize the new liver and will start to attack it. This is called “rejection” and in order to overcome this Brodie will have to take immunosuppressants - this will suppress his immune system which will make him very susceptible to picking up flus and colds - much more than you or me
There will be regular check ups that will consist of blood tests and start 2 - 3 times a week and eventually go down to once every couple of months and even once a year eventually!
Brodie will be on anywhere between 10 - 20 medications again depending on how he is responding and how the levels are measuring through blood tests and eventually the medications over the next year will be down to 1 immunosuppressant - he will have to most likely take this twice a day for the rest of his life
He will have a bit of a learning curve and then will be back on track to hit milestones just like any other little love nugget - Sitting / Rolling over / Standing / etc. He will just have a minor set back.
We keep reminding ourselves the following things:
He will not remember any of this
Babies are resilient - the stories we have been following these little fighters are sitting and rolling over weeks after the surgery
He is strong and “healthy” and will make it through this just fine
Just because he has been diagnosed with this does not mean this is a diagnosis of how he has to live his life - he will be a bouncing beautiful non-tan pink looking baby boy before we know it
Life is meant to happen. Stories like this, like ours - is what makes this life, this world so eye-opening and incredible - Brodie and I will have physical scars to show for this life changing event and it most likely has re-routed our life paths without us even knowing or planning for it. The impact that this will have on me, Russ, Harper and Brodie - and all of our immediate family and yes even Brodie’s Good Vibe Tribe - is the incredulous ripple effect.
“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far - reaching effects.” - Dalai Lama
Keep good vibing, challenge yourself to look close around you today and find someone that just might need some extra oomph and mojo and turn those good vibes on. Make a ripple in your world and in those around you. You are helping us get through our ripple - continue to do so and keep us in mind as our date gets closer - 6 days to go!