In 2014, Julia and Daryl Martin were navigating through a tough diagnosis for their youngest son, Conor. At just a few hours old, Conor was diagnosed with maple syrup urine disease, or MSUD, which, if left untreated, can cause significant physical and neurological damage. The disease can be treated in the short term with a very restrictive diet. However, a liver transplant would give Conor a chance at a normal life.
More About Pediatric Liver Transplant
In February of 2016, UVA’s Children Hospital announced a partnership with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to increase access to care for pediatric transplant patients. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC opened the country’s first comprehensive pediatric transplant center in 1981 and has since performed over 1,200 transplants for children. The partnership allows patients and their families to go on both hospital’s transplant waiting lists, which can dramatically shorten the wait time for a new liver.
The Martins learned about the UVA Children’s Hospital/Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC partnership shortly after listing at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. They took advantage and listed at UVA as well. Within a few weeks, Julia got the call her family had been waiting for. A liver was available for Conor, and he would get a transplant at UVA.
Through the partnership, surgeons from UVA Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC performed a successful surgery. Watch the video to learn more about Conor’s journey and this life-saving pediatric liver transplant.