October 5, 2014

Update on Luke Swank for October 5, 2014

I've had a lot of people ask me this week how Luke is doing and what's our next steps with his heart and/or heart & liver transplant.

The good news is that Luke is feeling much better this week after recovering from his liver biopsy challenges.  He went back to school on Monday and other than dealing with the pain of trying to catch up with missing a week's worth of school, he's had no more complications to deal with this week.

I wish I had more information on our next steps.  During our last update, I said we were waiting for the cardiac and liver teams at the University of Minnesota to get together to develop the plan.  We were of the belief that they would decide on either transplanting his heart or transplanting his heart and liver.  Unfortunately, they couldn't decide and have asked us to seek a second opinion at a different institution.

Apparently, the medical community is quite divided on the best approach to deal with Fontan associated liver disease.  Some people think that once he gets his new heart, his liver will recover on it's own.  Some believe he'd be better served to get both replaced at the same time.  There's pros and cons for doing it either way.

Complicating matters for us is the University of Minnesota recently had their experienced cardiac surgeon leave the practice.  So they think we'd be better off if we went to another transplant center that has more experience with doing pediatric heart and liver transplants and have them give us a second opinion and perform the procedure for us after they do that.  

We have a list of transplant centers across the country that we can consider and are currently being reviewed by Lurie Chidlren's Hospital out of Chicago to see if they feel they can help Luke.  Once we hear back from them, we can plan our next steps.

As always, prayers are much appreciated during these crazy times in our lives.  We are confident that God will show us the correct path to take so Luke can get through this process and become a much healthier young man in the future.

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