Reporting Jonathan Elias
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BURLINGTON (CBS) – A Worcester dad has given his baby boy the ultimate gift, a life-saving transplant. Now, he hopes his story will inspire others and save more patients.
Nine-month old Tristan Theerman was born with a rare disease and needed a new liver to survive.
WBZ-TV’s Jonathan Elias reports.
After months of waiting for a donor, his parents both got tested. Tristan’s dad Jeremy turned out to be a perfect match. So, in January, Jeremy went to Lahey Clinic and donated a portion of his liver to his son.
“That’s why living donation and that Lahey Clinic has this program that was so important to us. Who knows what the outcome would’ve been,” Jeremy explained to WBZ-TV.
Tristan’s mother was nervous, but hopeful about the operation. “I was very stressed out and emotional, I felt bad I couldn’t be with Jeremy. And I was so concerned for Tristan because there was a 20 percent chance he wouldn’t make it,” said Caroline Theerman. She added, “I’m just so happy he’s doing so well and Jeremy is doing well and that we had a positive outcome.”
Dad, Jeremy explains, “I’m going to get so much from him being able to live a full life.”
Since pediatric liver transplants began in 1989, only about 1,000 parent-to-child transplants have taken place.
The Theermans hope their story will encourage other folks out there to become organ donors.
If you’d like more information about becoming an organ donor, log onto the New England Organ Bank’s website.