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Jaxon Brown, the "miracle" baby who survived a premature birth, deals with the next obstacle: a triple transplant
Jaxon Brown weighed 1 pounds
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By CATHY DYSON
Jaxon Brown, the "miracle" baby who weighed only a pound and a half at birth, got a triple transplant on Thursday.
Surgeons at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington replaced Jaxon's damaged liver, bowel and pancreas with donated organs. Jaxon's parents, Danielle and Josh Brown of Fredericksburg, don't know anything about the donor, except that the baby was the same size as Jaxon, who weighs 18 pounds and is 15 months old.
Danielle Brown got the call that organs were available about noon on Wednesday and had Jaxon at the hospital by 3 p.m.
"It's so unreal, I still can't even get it in my head that it really happened," she said. "I'm excited, I'm nervous--actually, I'm petrified--not knowing what could happen from here."
Organ recipients face the risk of rejection, and Jaxon's mother said she realized her son is looking at "three times the risk" with his surgery.
But these types of transplants have been standard operations since the 1990s, according to Georgetown, which does 20 to 25 bowel transplants a year.
Half are triple transplants like Jaxon's, according to the public relations office.
Across the country, about 15,000 young people suffer with some type of liver disease, and between 500 and 550 of them get liver transplants a year, according to the hospital.
Eighty percent are like Jaxon--under 5 years old.
Those who receive transplants are likely to enjoy a quality of life that's virtually the same as for children who never faced a life-threatening disease, according to Georgetown.
Dr. Cal Matsumoto, a transplant surgeon, said Jaxon's functions looked good one day after surgery. "Nothing out of the ordinary," he said.
'LIVER WAS SO SHOT'
Jaxon was born June 2, 2011, more than 16 weeks early. Even among premature babies--those born before the full term of 40 weeks--he was among the smallest of the small.
Doctors warned that his lungs weren't developed and that he could face neurological problems, but he later passed vision and hearing tests with flying colors.
He was called the "miracle" baby on a website that chronicled his progress.
When he was able to come home to Heritage Park Apartments with his parents, six months after his birth, he amazed those around him.
His pediatrician, Dr. Amy Cochran of Fredericksburg, said he made great strides and "being home has really been important for him."