Finn was first diagnosed in 2014 at 2yrs old with Acute Recurrent Pancreatitis. Finn experiences extremely painful episodes, in which he is often hospitalised so he can be given strong pain relief.
In November 2016 we learned his condition had progressed to Chronic Pancreatitis, as the tail of his pancreas had burnt out (died). Chronic pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve—it gets worse over time and leads to permanent damage. Chronic pancreatitis eventually impairs a patient’s ability to digest food and make pancreatic hormones.It also increases the risk of pancreatic cancer by 75%.
The latest check of his pancreas in August 2017 is now showing Atrophy, which basically means his pancreas is shrinking and wasting away. Finn's Specialist has advised the best and only outcome is to have a Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Auto Transplant (TP/IAT).
Finn's pancreas will be removed along with his gallbladder, part of his intestine and his spleen if it cannot be saved. Stage 2 of the surgery is where scientists will separate the Islet cells (makes insulin for the body) from the pancreatic tissue in the hope of transplanting them back into Finn's liver so that his liver will eventually start to produce insulin for his body.
He will be type 1 diabetic straight away and will require insulin injections and blood sugar monitoring. Hopefully as time goes on he will require less insulin.
Adelaide Royal Hospital along with Adelaide Women's and Children's hospital are the only team that have done this procedure in Australia for pediatrics and for anyone with Pancreatitis.
We have only just started the process and are still in the Review process so no set date has been confirmed, but we expect it will be in the next 12 months. Finn needs to have certain tests to make sure he is suitable for the surgery. We will need to visit the Adelaide team a few times before the procedure and then spend 1-2months down there for the surgery.
We are hoping to raise funds to assist with travel and accommodation in Adelaide, leading up to and after the surgery, as well as any out-of-pocket expenses for the actual surgery.
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