The Beginning-Part 1 Bringing You Up To Speed
Updated: Nov 19, 2020
Sunday, May 21, 2007, Torrey Alan Brown Jr. entered the world at 6lbs 14oz. He arrived quietly, looking around and then finally making a sucking noise as if to say, “Uhhh, where’s my food?” As soon as he realized that there would be no food for him until after his first bath, he HOLLERED! The man wasn’t happy-lol!
The first couple of days, it was brought to our attention that Torrey had jaundice and that his *bilirubin levels were a bit high, but not to worry because a little *photo-therapy should help bring his levels back to normal. We were educated in that many babies are born with *jaundice but photo therapy and keeping them near sunlight helps to get rid of it.
By the time we were about to be discharged, Torrey’s bilirubin levels had increased and we were informed that he wouldn’t be going home with us. They had moved Torrey to the *NICU. I was devastated and asked if I could stay in the hospital with him. The hospital allowed me a few more days. I was certain that by then, Torrey would be going home with us by the time I was discharged.
Torrey stayed in the NICU a total of two weeks and from there, we were instructed to take him to the University of Maryland Medical Center, where they would conduct a *HIDA scan on him.
Around 5 weeks old, Torrey was diagnosed with *Intrahepatic Biliary Atresia. It’s a rare malfunction of the liver, non-hereditary, no known link to what causes it in any baby (what we were told at the time), but it was here and Torrey Jr. had it. And at the tender age of 6 weeks old, Torrey underwent his very first surgery, a *Kasai procedure, where they removed his gall bladder and re-routed the bile from the liver directly into the digestion tract.
The surgeon informed us that this procedure was to “buy time” for the inevitable- a liver transplant.
This is where our first transplant journey began……
Disclaimer: The paypal screen will say "Tyvette Brown" after you've donated because TJ is a minor and the account cannot be in his name legally.)
Bilirubin- an orange-yellow pigment formed in the liver by the breakdown of hemoglobin and excreted in bile. (Source: dictionary.com)
Photo therapy- the use of light in the treatment of physical or mental illness. (Source: dictionary.com)
Jaundice- a medical condition with yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, arising from excess of the pigment bilirubin and typically caused by obstruction of the bile duct, by liver disease, or by excessive breakdown of red blood cells. (Source: dictionary.com)
HIDA scan- an imaging test used to view the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and small intestine. (Source: medicalnewstoday.com)
Biliary Atresia- a childhood disease of the liver in which one or more bile ducts are abnormally narrow, blocked, or absent. It can be congenital or acquired. Note: Torrey’s condidtion was inside the liver-intrahepatic. The more common occurrence of this disease is called extrahepatic biliary atresia. (Source: Wikipedia.org)
Kasai Procedure- The liver has ducts, so that the bile it produces can drain into the intestine and help with digestion of food. If these ducts are blocked, the Kasai procedure is a way to surgically bypass them and prevent liver damage. It is often the preferred treatment for biliary atresia. (Source: chp.edu)
NICU- Newborn Intensive Care Unit