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Archive for Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Brothers have good bill of health following liver transplants

Aiden and Miles Blomgren are thriving following their liver transplants.

Aiden and Miles Blomgren are thriving following their liver transplants.

April 8, 2009

Editor’s Note: To observe National Donate Life Month, we checked in with three Lawrence families whose lives have been affected by organ donations. They were first featured in February 2008.

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In this file photo from Jan. 4, 2001, two-year-old Miles Blomgren plays with his parents Dan and Jill Blomgren while recovering from a Nov. 2000 transplant operation where he received part of his father's liver.

In this file photo from Jan. 4, 2001, two-year-old Miles Blomgren plays with his parents Dan and Jill Blomgren while recovering from a Nov. 2000 transplant operation where he received part of his father's liver.

Second Chances

Three Lawrence families share one common bond they encourage others to be organ and tissue donors. This 3-part series explores the life-changing nature of organ donations.

Miles Blomgren, 10, and his brother, Aiden, 7, are growing by leaps and bounds and are always ready for a new adventure.

That’s pretty typical for boys.

But what makes the Blomgren brothers special is that they have overcome progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis, an inherited disease that causes progressive jaundice and scarring of the liver.

As toddlers, they were jaundiced, scrawny and couldn’t jump or run.

Both boys received liver transplants at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. At age 2, Miles received a portion of his dad’s liver. The surgery came in the nick of time because Miles’ original liver was cancerous and had they waited, the cancer might have spread.

At age 3, Aiden received a liver from someone’s deceased loved one. His parents, Dan and Jill, are forever grateful, especially because neither of them were a match for Aiden.

Four years later, the boys are as energetic as ever.

“They wear me out,” Jill said, laughing.

Miles is participating in a groundbreaking study where living donor recipients are gradually taken off anti-rejection drugs. He took his last anti-rejection medicine — which can cause nasty side effects — on Dec. 26, 2007. A year ago, he was getting lab work done every two weeks. Now, he goes in once a month. Aiden’s medications have been significantly reduced since his surgery.

Both have been getting a good bill of health during checkups in Chicago. Jill described the family as happy, energetic and doing great.

Aiden has taken to playing soccer. Meanwhile, Miles like to dabble in a bunch of sports. They still love on their dog, Cocoa, a brown miniature Labradoodle.

“We’ve had no problems at all,” she said. “Life is great.”

Comments

middlemgmt 5 years, 8 months ago

I have a family memeber with a liver transplant. I know the stress of going through this. I'm glad to hear the boys are doing well. Great article LJW!

redmoonrising 5 years, 8 months ago

So happy for your whole family. Bet you don't mind being worn out at all, Mom. Can't imagine going through this twice but good to read that they are now weaning transplant patients off some of those awful drugs and it's working. Hopefully all the stress is behind you and those two boys will grow up strong and healthy.

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