Within weeks of birth, tiny Colton had a very distinct yellow color in his eyes, and after further evaluation—and his first surgery at six weeks—was diagnosed with a liver condition called biliary atresia. A procedure to open his bile ducts was performed to create better flow within the liver, but it was unsuccessful.
At three months, Colton was placed on a liver transplant list, and seven months later, a liver was available. The morning of July 15, 1995, Colton became the seventh child to receive a liver transplant at Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
“It was such an emotional situation,” says Colton’s mom Kristen, “that, unfortunately, another family had to experience a tragedy—but in that tragedy, another person gave our son life.”
Almost immediately after the transplant, the white in Colton’s eyes returned, and he was on a fast track to recovery. Two blood transfusions were performed during the transplant and one post-transplant. The family remains grateful for the generosity of donors who made the blood products available when Colton was in need.
Colton’s family and Andrew’s family (the donor family) have remained close since the transplant and correspond regularly. Colton, now 21, is attending college at the University of Minnesota–Duluth and plays baseball for the Bulldogs.
Want to help people like Colton? Schedule an appointment to donate blood in Rochester today by calling (507) 284-4475.
Liked by Brenda Bendix, Transfusion Medicine