Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Germantown boy receives triple organ transplant

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A Germantown family’s prayers were answered Friday when 4-year-old Antonio McBride received three long-awaited organ transplants.

The boy was diagnosed with microvillus inclusion disorder, a rare intestinal disorder, shortly after he was born. His liver eventually failed, and he was placed on the emergency national waiting list for liver, pancreas and intestine transplants on April 10, just 10 days before his birthday. His health worsened, and the family bided its time, waiting for a donor.

The good news came last week, and the child underwent eight hours of surgery at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., on Friday morning. The surgery did not take as long as doctors expected.

‘‘So far, so good,” his mother, Jenne Battle, said Friday afternoon. ‘‘... Everything went well. We went over one hump, now we just have to get over the next.”

As first reported in The Gazette on April 30, Antonio has had a blood transfusion, biopsies and a serious staph infection. The disease has affected his appearance, giving him a distended stomach and a yellow tint to his skin, Battle said. The boy was supposed to leave the hospital in late April, but spiked a fever due to another infection.

‘‘They didn’t expect him to live over 1,” Battle’s mother, Mary Ellison, 51, of Germantown, said in late April. ‘‘He is such an inspiration, such a fighter. ... It’s amazing what’s happening to him and he’s still so alert.”

The difficulty of finding an organ donor, particularly for a young child, has changed Battle and Ellison’s feelings on becoming donors themselves. Ellison said the experience has helped assuage her fears that organ donors receive lower quality care at hospitals, and Battle said she became a donor as soon as she learned about her son’s condition.