Jesse and Luke's story
At just three-days-old identical twins, Jesse and Luke Wilson, were diagnosed with a rare condition called Alagille syndrome. Alagille syndrome is a spontaneous mutation of the Gag1 gene and causes complications in the various parts of the body including the liver. Both boys were put on the transplant list in March 2016 as they urgently needed new livers at the same time.
After meeting with Dr Michael Stormon in their home town in Western Australia, the Wilson family flew to The Children's Hospital at Westmead and underwent liver transplant surgery over 10 weeks. In June 2016, Luke was given his first transplant but unfortunately, due to a complication the organ failed and he was relisted for another transplant.
"My boy was tired. His little body had turned to skin and bone and every ounce was fighting for life. We were losing hope but three nights later - at midnight - our phone rang. A new gift, a new chance, a glimmer of hope," recalled mum, Kylie. Luke's second transplant was successful much to the relief of the family.
Eight weeks later, Kylie and the family went through the same emotional roller coaster with Jesse as his first liver transplant was unsuccessful too.
“Jesse pretty much killed off his new liver within 24 hours. He needed to be re-transplanted, but they had another organ, so he was the next morning,” she said. Thankfully like his brother, Jesse's second transplant went well and he recovered quickly.
Both known for their cheeky personalities, the twins are now 11-years-old and are both athletic and busy living life to the fullest. Though their journey in Hospital had been long with many moments of ups-and-down, the Wilson family are forever grateful of the care they received by the Liver Transplant Unit at The Children's Hospital at Westmead.
"Our twins are modern-day miracles. They are a living testimony of the incredible miracles that can take place today and by the skill of God-gifted surgeons we are privileged to have met".
Alfie was only seven-weeks-old when he was diagnosed with Biliary Artresia. Biliary Atresia is a rare condition in infants where bile becomes trapped and permanently damages the liver. Alfie underwent Kasai surgery which involved passing the blocked bile ducts and gallbladder and replacing them with a segment of Alfie’s small intestine to create a new bile duct system. Transplant Surgeon at The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Dr Albert Shun, operated on Alfie for a total of five hours.
After Alfie's first surgery, there were several complications and re-admissions into hospital, Alfie was officially added to the transplant list in June 2016. When the call came through at 1:30am an early Saturday morning, Alfie's parents, mum Kay and dad Matthew, once again handed over their son to Dr Shun again for his second surgery.
"My husband and I wandered the corridors of the hospital waiting and waiting, but again we were at ease because we knew our baby was in the very best hands. We are so lucky to have access to these people and of course the generosity of the donor’s family to give a truely amazing gift of life to Alfie," said Kay.
Alfie's second surgery took nine hours and was thankfully a success. Since his transplant, Alfie is doing amazingly well with no significant problems. He likes climbing trees, going to the beach, playing with his cars and animals just like any typical four-year-old boy.
"Now we look forward to the future. This journey has had its ups and downs but we are grateful for every day! We will be forever grateful to Alfie's donor and family, Dr Shun, Dr Thomas, Dr Stormon, Dr O’Loughlin, all the liver nurses and Clancy ward. Thank you for everything".