First Five-Organ Transplant Performed On 3-Year-Old Adonis Ortiz, Full Recovery Expected
Adonis Ortiz of Tampa, Florida was born with a rare birth defect known as gastroschisis, meaning his intestines formed outside his body. One of the most common treatments for this defect is to surgically place the intestines back into the body. But that wouldn't be enough for Adonis: just this year, he was also diagnosed with liver fibrosis, further complicating the problem. The doctors concluded that the three-year-old needed an organ transplant. And not just any transplant: a five-organ transplant.
This type of transplant had never been attempted, and doctors told Adonis' parents that his chances of survival were 50/50. In October, Adonis' parents finally were alerted about a transplant match. During the six-hour surgery, Adonis received five organs: a new liver, pancreas, stomach, and both small and large intestines. All the organs came from a single donor.
That was two months ago. Since then, Adonis has been in recovery at the Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital. Now, enough time has passed that his parents could yesterday announce that Adonis is expected to fully recover from the surgery.
Prepare to squirm when you see adorable little Adonis. They didn't give him that name for nothing, eh?
Adonis' recovery marks a transplant world record. It's incredible that doctors were able to find five organ matches for Adonis in the first place — after all, there's a notorious shortage of donor organs in the U.S., and 20 Americans die each day waiting for a match.
Even if the surgery is successful, the body is good at sensing foreign intruders, and it can attack the new organ. Plus, Adonis didn't just get one organ — he got five at once.
At the moment, America operates an “opt-in” rather than “opt-out” donor registry system, which experts suggest leads to thousands of preventable deaths each year.
You can opt-in and become a donor here.