Some of you may or may not know Dana Jerzak and her son Gavin. Dana is an Ultrasound tech for Faxton St. Luke's and her son Gavin struggles with a disease called Biliary Atresia that he was born with.
Those of you that don't know what biliary Atresia is here is some simple information on it. Biliary atresia is a rare disease of the liver and bile ducts that occurs in infants. Symptoms of the disease appear or develop about two to eight weeks after birth. Cells within the liver produce liquid called bile. Bile helps to digest fat. It also carries waste products from the liver to the intestines for excretion. This network of channels and ducts is called the biliary system. When the biliary system is working the way it should, it lets the bile drain from the liver into the intestines. When a baby has biliary atresia, bile flow from the liver to the gallbladder is blocked. This causes the bile to be trapped inside the liver, quickly causing damage and scarring of the liver cells (cirrhosis), and eventually liver failure.
Baby Gavin unfortunately needs a liver transplant, but at this time is waiting for his perfect match. During this time Dana and her family travel every 3-4 weeks to Boston to see doctors and stay up to date on plans for Gavin. Along with paying for travel expenses they also pay for very expensive prescriptions every month to keep Gavin as healthy as possible while waiting for his liver. At 17 months Gavin also is required to be fed every three hours due to his illness. Even when Gavin receives his liver he will have to maintain a course of 13 additional medications to keep him from rejecting his new liver. Gavin and his family have a long road ahead of them, but Dana and her family are very positive and uplifting through this whole process.
As OB nurses who work side by side with Dana we wanted to reach out to the public and people we know to help Dana and her family as much as we can. Dana is one of the most caring, compassionate, and sincere coworkers we have at St. Luke's. Even with her struggles daily at home and being anxious to have Gavin find his new liver she comes to work with a positive and upbeat energy daily for us and our patients. We want to show her how much we truly appreciate her work and how much she and her family mean to us as well.
Please keep Gavin and his family in your prayers and send this family all your positive energy!