As some of you may know, Dylan Mateo, aka Little Ninja, was diagnosed with a rare liver disease called Biliary Atresia (BA). This condition, for unsure reasons, affects 1 out of about 10,000- 15,000 babies and prevents bile (toxins) from leaving the body due to blockage or a lack of biliary ducts in the liver. This is the main reason for liver failure and one cannot live long with a bad liver.
In March at 10 weeks of age, Dilly was diagnosed with BA and had an emergency bypass surgery, Kasai, to try to “save” his native (own) liver. This procedure was not a guarantee for the liver to function the way it’s supposed to. It was mainly done to keep him stable enough for a liver transplant one day. Most, if not all, babies with this condition will need a liver transplant at some point in their lives - whether it be in infant years, teenage years or adulthood. Each case is different from the next.
In Dylan’s case, he ended up needing a transplant soon after the Kasai procedure because his liver functions were not improving. Dilly was placed on the donor waiting list in June. Meanwhile, different therapies were in order and his liver team from UCLA Medical Center kept a close eye on him to ensure he was stable enough for continued home care until a donor became available.
On Thursday morning, September 20, we got the miracle call that a donor had become available. Dilly was the primary recipient and doctors accepted the offer. Friday morning, Dilly received his new liver. Not only did he have a new “birthday”, he also celebrated his 9 month birthday. Although we are heartbroken for the donor’s family, we are forever grateful for their gift of life to our Ninja.
As we start this new chapter of our Ninja’s life journey, we will have medical bills to work through while we maintain care for DillyMat. If you are able to help, please use this link to donate to Dilly’s fund.
We thank each and every Dilly fan for your continued prayers and positive vibes. We definitely feel the love from near and far. Without your support, the strength that we have could not have become this strong. Our deepest thank yous!
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