Healthcast: Pancreas removal


(HEALTHCAST)— “Can you believe we’ve been here since December 10?”

Randy and Holly Lopez are heading home, and of all the gifts 13-year old Randy received, it’s what was taken.

“It may look ugly, but in the future it will look less ugly.”

That is the greatest gift.

“It started when he was two.”

Randy was born with a genetic mutation that caused chronic pancreatitis.

A rare condition that makes eating painful and causes weigh loss.

“His pancreas would start having more and more flares.”

And in Randy’s case, a childhood spent in hospitals.

Sometimes you don’t know if there’s ever an end life a cage where you’ll never be set free,” Randy said.

“It’s hard to kind of watch your child deteriorating,” Holly said.

That would end on December 12

“The longest day of my life.”

In an 8 hour surgery, Randy had his pancreas removed.

The youngest patient to have the procedure at Baylor University Medical Center.

Doctor Ernest Beecherl also transplanted islet cells that produce insulin from his pancreas to his liver.

“It can take a totally debilitated in every sense of the word debilitated not getting out of bed, and getting them back assimilated into life,” Beecherl said.

Now you can actually eat meat without worrying.”

In practical terms, the surgery is life changing and more.

“And he pretty much saved his life because depression was majorly setting in,” Randy’s mom, Holly said.

“I thought i would go through this pain for my entire life. From before the surgery and after i became more happier and sometimes i don’t even notice that my pancreas isn’t even there,” Randy said

Doctor Beecherl transplanted something else during that surgery… Hope.

“And they’re making plans to go back to school,” Beecherl said.

Surgery isn’t all clinical.

It’s much deeper.

“Especially when they’re 13-years-old,” Beecherl said.

A typical 13-year-old.

‘You’re an awesome guy.”

With the new year and a new life ahead of him

“Thank you so much for what you have done.”

There are side effects to the surgery.

It will likely make randy a diabetic, but doctor Beecherl said it is a manageable condition with a normal life expectancy.

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