One-year-old Liam Cerda finally went home today, only a few weeks removed from an absolute marathon of transplant surgery.
The Texas boy received eight donated organs over a nine-hour operation in February. A new liver, stomach, large and small bowels, pancreas, two kidneys and bladder were transplanted into the youngster.
The procedure took place at the Holtz Children’s Hospital in Miami, Florida. It was urgently needed; Cerda suffered from a rare genetic condition called Megacystis Microcolon Intestinal Hypoperistalsis Syndrome (MMIHS), or Berdon Syndrome. This is caused from a malformed colon and bladder that causes digestive problems, meaning he wouldn’t be able to eat real food.
Cerda is doing well after the marathon surgery, and eating real food for the first time.
“Liam is doing very, very good. After his transplant, he hasn’t had any issues about feeding,” Julissa Cerda, Liam’s mother, told ABC News. “It’s the first time he’s eaten through the mouth. He’s eating baby food right now.”
Cerda’s noticed her son’s much happier and could tell her son is ‘much better’ after the operation. Before the transplants, he slept a lot and was often irritable.
“About a week after transplant, he was taken off sedation he was ready to get up and play,” she said. “He was sitting up and getting on his walker. … He’s a very playful, happy baby.”
Despite the rarity of MMIHS, Liam is the second member of the Cerda family to be diagnosed with the disease. His sister Delilah, 6, was also diagnosed as an infant. She underwent a similar surgery at age 1, where she received seven transplanted organs.
Going through the ordeal herself, Delilah had become ‘overprotective’ of her little brother according to their mother, despite her young age.
“She’s only 6 years old and you would be very surprised how well she takes care of him,” Julissa said. “She’s very cautious and washes her hands and wears a mask.”