Ryan Andrade spent 36 days lying in a hospital bed in Norfolk, VA. His family never thought that day 37 would be spent driving all night to meet him at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC where he was transported by helicopter. At the time, Ryan suffered from chronic pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that does not heal or improve—it gets worse over time and leads to permanent damage.
This eventually impairs a patient’s ability to digest food and make pancreatic hormones. His grandfather, Thom, described the experience leading up to the hospital transfer, “It was so hard watching him suffer – and I mean SUFFER – with the excruciating pain that comes with this disease. Not even morphine could stop the pain. He just wanted to die.”
Once at Children’s Hospital, Thom’s prayers were answered after meeting Abhinav Humar, MD, chief, Division of Transplantation in the Department of Surgery at UPMC. “He and his team of exceptional surgeons performed a TPAIT procedure that we are certain saved his life. Dr. Humar is a remarkably gifted person and a compassionate human being – two exceptional qualities that make him an exceptional doctor and surgeon,” Thom said.
Ryan was moved out of the pediatric intensive care unit at Children’s four days after his 12-hour surgery and onto the transplant floor where he is making slow, but steady progress.
“We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to Children’s and to the outstanding team that were involved with making Ryan’s life-saving surgery possible. What we witnessed at this hospital is nothing short of a miracle.”