Patient Becomes First Child His Age To Receive A Five-Organ Multivisceral Transplant Without Colostomy

At four months pregnant, Aracelis Ortiz received the devastating news that her baby boy was developing with a birth defect called gastroschisis – a condition in which the intestines protrude through a hole in the abdominal wall. The first-time mom faced the tough decision: terminate the pregnancy or deliver the baby.

“I have strong faith in God. I had no doubt in my mind about having the baby,” she said.

At 36 weeks, Adonis Ortiz was born in Tampa, FL, and underwent his first surgery to repair his birth defect. Five days later, doctors discovered the intestines that had formed outside his abdomen were damaged and the intestines that remained in his body never fully developed. Adonis went on to have two serial transverse enteroplasty (STEP) procedures – a technique used to increase bowel length to help absorption in the intestine so it can function more efficiently. Yet, his condition worsened and other organs in his abdomen were compromised.

In August 2013, Adonis was diagnosed with stage-2 liver fibrosis. Doctors also determined that he was in need of a multivisceral (multi-organ) transplant. Two months later, now at Holtz Children’s Hospital at the UM/Jackson Memorial Medical Center, Adonis received five new organs, including a new liver, pancreas, stomach and small and large intestines. He also became the first child his age in the world to receive a multivisceral transplant without a colostomy, an opening that connects the colon to the surface of the abdomen. It would normally be necessary to provide a different path for waste to leave the body. The one-step approach kept Adonis from having additional surgeries.

It has been an ordeal for the family traveling between Holtz and their home in Tampa, yet they feel gratified. “We’ve gone through some ups and down, but I never lost faith,” Aracelis said. “I’m happy and excited with his progress.”

Aracelis said that doctors expect Adonis to make a full recovery. Adonis is a budding baseball player and his mom hopes to enroll him in baseball camp when he turns 4.

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