Talon’s second chance

Talon wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for an organ donor.

He was born early at 34 weeks with a condition called Gastroschisis, meaning his intestines had developed outside of his body. Though often fixable, Talon’s intestines lost blood supply in utero and he developed Short Bowel Syndrome. This left him with only a very small part of his small intestine, meaning Talon was unable to process food eaten orally.

Talon became dependent on total parental nutrition (TPN), a nutrition substitute delivered intravenously. Though essential to his survival, the TPN solution coupled with Talon’s intestinal failure led to liver disease. Talon’s abdomen became bloated with fluid build-up and he suffered from persistent infections resulting in long hospital admissions.

After numerous consults and tests, Talon was placed on the transplant waiting list and his family relocated to Melbourne so he could be cared for at the RCH. Talon spent four months on the transplant list before his life-saving operation.

“The transplant team did an amazing job and were able to remove Talon’s diseased liver and intestines and replace them with the donor organs during a 12 hour operation. It was the longest day of our lives!” says Kelly, Talon’s mum.

With a functioning liver and intestine, Talon’s appearance changed immediately. He was no longer bloated, jaundiced or feeling ill. For the first time in his life he was able to eat and drink. After careful monitoring, doctors confirmed that Talon and his family could return home to the Sunshine Coast.

Kelly loves seeing her little boy going to school and playing with his friends, but in her joy hasn’t forgotten the family who generously gave him a second chance.

“Talon is just so incredibly fortunate to have been given the gift of life. Without a donor, there was no hope.”

“It’s so important to recognise donor families because it is such a brave and courageous decision to donate a loved one’s organs. It is a life-saving gift to a complete stranger at such a heartbreaking and traumatic time. Thanks to them, we can now look forward to seeing Talon grow and enjoy just being a kid.”

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