Children’s is a Place of Miracles

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.”

  • CELT

    Hi – I am Ryan’s grandfather and I just want to again extend my gratitude to all of the people at Children’s Hospital of UPMC and to the wonderful volunteers at the Children’s Hospital of UPMC Ronald McDonald House who did so much for us while Ryan was hospitalized for his surgery and recovery at UPMC. To Dr, Humar and your entire surgical team – you saved our grandson’s life and we will always be grateful for what you did. You did not have to agree to his surgery and in fact, there were many reasons why you could have refused to perform his surgery. But you didn’t and I know that took great courage on your part. I found you to be a very brilliant and yet humble man when I first shook your hand and thanked you for saving our grandson’s life. To the nurses who cared for Ryan after his surgery we are also very grateful as his autism and related behaviors made your job very difficult. Today, we are struggling with his autism and struggling to help him mange his Type 1 diabetes that he now has as a result of his surgery. We do not know what the future holds but we pray daily that God will help us and help him to overcome this struggle. To anyone who has a child who is suffering from the effects of pancreatitis, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is one of the very few places in America that offers hope. I would encourage you to contact them to see if there is anything they can do to help your child. We watched as Ryan was literally dying before our eyes and we know the real pain that this disease can bring to the whole family. There is hope and it exists at Children’s Hospital of UPMC.