Texas Children's organ recipient set to participate in Transplant Games

Melanie Lawson Image
Monday, June 27, 2016
Organ recipient participating in Transplant Games
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Organ recipient participating in Transplant Games.

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Cade is your typical 13-year-old athlete who loves playing football and baseball. But his life got off to a rocky start years ago.

"Cade with diagnosed with Biliary atresia when he was 6 weeks old," his mother Jennifer Alpard told us.

It's a disease that affects the liver and bile ducts in infants. By six months, Cade was placed on the liver transplant list.

"Our entire first six months was just hospital visits and blood draws," Jennifer said.

A liver did become available, but there were complications with his health, so Cade did not receive that one. From there, he was placed on four IV antibiotics. After four months, one of the medications reached a toxic level, leading to more organ failures.

"That same drug also causes a sensory neural hearing loss. So he in fact was in liver failure, kidney failure and shortly we found out he was completely deaf from the antibiotic. Most people, much less kids don't recover from 3 organ failure," Jennifer explained.

But over time, Cade improved. He was placed back on the transplant list and another one became available. But more issues developed which could have prevented him to receive that one. However, his status was elevated.

"We've made him a status one which means all the rules go out the window and she said he will have this liver, or he's going to die. He ended up getting that liver that night," Jennifer said. "It was a little girl who was 3. He immediately was better."

Now, 12 years later, Cade is doing exceptionally well. Thriving in the sports that he loves to play, he recently applied and to be a part of the Transplant Games. It's an event being held today and this weekend in Ohio, for individuals who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries. Cade was one of 10 kids accepted to participate in this year's games.

"He's going to do about 4 sports while we're there. But 10 kids are doing a total of 14 different activities, and Cade's really excited," Clinical Transplant Educator, Melissa Nugent said.

For more information on the Transplant Games, CLICK HERE.