When Carson was born on December 22, he seemed like a perfectly healthy newborn. He had carried to term and weighed around six pounds, but he also had jaundice, a common ailment of newborn children that was a symptom of a much more serious condition in Carson’s case. He went to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital on May 7 and has been in the hospital ever since then.
“We knew there was something wrong because he was cranky, and his eyes were yellow,” said Robyn Seguin, Carson’s paternal grandmother.
Carson’s condition went undetected until he went for his four month check up. This is when doctors discovered that Carson had a condition called biliary atresia, a condition in which the bile flow from the liver is obstructed due to the failure of the bile ducts inside or outside of the liver to develop normally.
On May 11, Carson underwent a surgery know as the Kasai procedure, which bypasses the abnormal ducts to connect the liver to the small intestine.
“They were hoping that the surgery would buy him some time to get bigger and stronger to have surgery where he was malnourished,” said Seguin.
Despite the Kasai procedure, Carson’s liver was badly damaged and he would need a liver transplant to live. According to Seguin, doctors hoped to perform the surgery when he was a year old but found that they may not have that long to wait while they were performing Carson’s surgery.
“When they got in, they saw that his liver was more damaged than they thought. They had to remove part of his liver and he basically didn’t even have a gallbladder.
“After that, he done good with the surgery and done good for a couple of days and got an infection and to to go to the PICU. He had a lot of hurdles He went back and forth between the PICU before he ever went to Pittsburgh.”
Carson was put on a donor list, but it was highly unlikely that they would find a match for his rare B positive blood type so the family opted for a live donor. Carson’s mother, Amber, was a match, but the surgery they needed to have performed could not be done at Vanderbilt so the family had to go to Pittsburgh.
On July 21, Amber gave part of her liver to her son. During the procedure, Amber had to be in a separate hospital two miles away from her son.
Since then, Amber and Joey have been in Pittsburgh. It has been difficult on many different levels. There has been a lot of time spent away from their 22 month old son, Mason, who is staying with his grandparents. They have been unable to work and are doing everything they can to make their house and utility payments.
Joey is an employee of O’Reilly Auto Parts, who is sponsoring the car wash. There is also an account set up at Green Bank for donations.
The family expects to have Carson back at Vanderbilt by the end of the week, and they appreciate all of the help they have received so far.