This Christmas will be a much different scene for a Warren County, Ky. ,child who spent last year in the hospital recovering from a liver transplant.
Six-year-old Austin Pellet has battled health problems his whole life. While there have been some setbacks over the past year, the Pellet family is looking forward to being home for the holidays.
Just like most kids his age, Austin can’t wait until Christmas. But it was one year ago this week that he received his Christmas miracle.
“People put so much emphasis on gifts and what they are getting loved ones ... but it’s all about being with family. Last year I wasn’t with family ... everyone was split up and scattered everywhere,” Austin said.
The time spent away appears to be paying off. After years of waiting, Austin finally received a new liver on Dec. 13, 2005, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
When he was just 2-months-old, doctors discovered Austin was born with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, a genetic disease that can lead to liver failure at any time.
Even though Austin got a new organ, his mom said this year has not been without its complications.
“It’s been a roller coaster. You trade one set of problems for a whole new set. I didn’t understand that before the transplant. I thought it was the magic cure and would fix everything,” mother, Brandie Pellet said.
In April 2006, Austin began rejecting the new liver and suffered from Biloma, a collection of bile in the abdomen. He now has a bile duct track attached to his stomach and everything appears to be going fine, which is just what Austin wanted for the holidays.
Brandie has three other sons in addition to Austin. Brandie said her main concern now is keeping Austin healthy through flu season.
The Pellets will return to Cincinnati on Dec. 18, 2006, for Austin’s one-year review.