Interview: 16 Year Old Intestinal Transplant Patient

This interview was conducted with a 16-year-old boy who received an intestinal transplant.

When were you first diagnosed?

In December 2000, I had a small bowel resection. I didn't have enough [intestine] left to get nutrients. So I was evaluated for a transplant, and was on the waiting list until July [of 2002].

When you were first diagnosed, did you have any idea what it meant? How did you learn more about it?

At the evaluation, the doctors told me what to expect. I didn't really do any research other than that.

Before you had the surgery, what did you think a transplant would be like?

What they told us was a lot worse than it was. I expected the wait to be longer, and to have more problems.

When you got the call, how did you feel?

Well, first of all, it was 1:30 in the morning. I was nervous, scared, and hopeful all at the same time.

When did you have your transplant?

July 11th, 2002.

How do you feel now that you've had your transplant?

I feel a lot better. Once you've had it, you know the hardest part is over.

What's the hardest part about your life post-transplant?

I don't want to get too much into details, but they have to monitor you to make sure everything's okay. You get stuck for blood a lot. But even that's temporary.

What information or advice do you want to share with other kids who need transplants?

When it's all over, you'll be as close to normal as you can be, and you'll be able to live your life and not worry about that part of it anymore. It all just gets better; thinking about that helped me get through it. What I thought of most was that none of it was as bad as it seemed. Nine times out of ten, it's better than you think.

Learn more about Helping Your Child Understand Intestinal Transplantation.