- Associated Press - Monday, May 25, 2015

FARMINGTON, N.M. (AP) - A 2-year-old Shiprock boy who suffers from a rare genetic condition recently received a liver transplant in California.

The Farmington Daily Times reports (https://bit.ly/1AtMoCp) that Kaiden Charley was diagnosed with a condition that affects his ability to absorb nutrients and move food through his body. His doctors hope the new liver will help slow the progression of the condition.

Over the first year of Kaiden’s life, he developed like any other child. But after the symptoms began to show, he started regressing. Now, he is starting to make progress once again, trying to sound out words and walk.

In the middle of the night on April 23, the boy’s mother, Zana Charley, received a call that there was a liver available for her son.

That morning, the mother and son flew out of Albuquerque to Palo Alto, California. A series of tests was conducted to make sure Kaiden was ready for the surgery. But an hour before the procedure was scheduled to begin, the doctors canceled it because the liver wasn’t suitable.

“It was really hard hearing that news,” the mother said.

Dr. Ricardo Castillo, who runs the transplant program for New Mexico patients at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto, explained that a lot of evaluation happens before a patient can receive a liver, and the hospital staff doesn’t know if the transplant will take place until the surgeon gets to the hospital and inspects the liver. At that point, factors such as fat levels and size can make it so the donor organ is not suitable for the transplant.

The mother and son moved into the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto hoping that a new liver soon would become available.

On May 1, Charley received another call. At 7 a.m. the next day, she took her son to the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital to receive his new liver.

The boy’s mother said at first she was hesitant to get her hopes up because of what had happened the previous time.

“It actually became real when he actually went down into the operating room,” she said.

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Information from: The Daily Times, https://www.daily-times.com

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