A three-year-old Tampa boy, Adonis Ortiz, survived a five-organ transplant at the Miami Transplant Institute Oct. 28, and is expected to make a full recovery. The toddler received a new pancreas, liver, stomach, and small and large intestines. Adonis was born with short gut syndrome, which means there is not enough intestine to enable food absorption. Because of this, he had always been fed intravenously and had never had solid food.
Adonis’s mother, Aracelis, reportedly says she was told many times her son would have a 50/50 chance of surviving the major organ transplant. Post transplant, Adonis has an 80 to 85% chance of leading a normal life, which excites Aracelis because Adonis has never spent Christmas at home.
During a press conference Tuesday, along with her son’s doctors, Aracelis expressed her happiness about the outcome of her son’s organ transplant. “He is really strong. After all his surgeries, he comes out with a smile,” Aracelis said. “I’m like, ‘How do you come out with a smile? They just chopped you up.'”
Adonis has had surgeries since birth. When Aracelis was pregnant with him, doctors determined that he had gastroschisis, a condition that causes the intestine to protrude through the stomach. She was asked if she wanted to abort the baby, but she refused, as she was a nursing assistant herself and didn’t believe her baby’s condition was so severe that it couldn’t be fixed: “I told them [the doctors], ‘Thank you for giving me the option of abortion or not, but he’s coming with whatever he has.'”
But Aracelis and her husband, Exmir, knew they had an arduous struggle ahead of them when Adonis was born. Immediately after his birth, he had to undergo surgery to properly situate his intestines. The first surgery did not stick, however, and Adonis required more surgeries to fix his intestines. Further complications ensued when Adonis was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver in August, necessitating a transplant. So when the call came in October that a five-organ transplant would be available to Adonis, the family rushed to the hospital.
According to Rodrigo Vianna, the physician who performed the transplant surgery, Adonis came into surgery with a healthy chance of recovery.
“Survival for this type of transplant is more than 80 percent now in a year,’’ Dr. Vianna said, “and 60 to 70 percent of those patients are still alive after five years. So that’s good odds for the many organs that he [Adonis] got.” The doctor added that with the five-organ transplant, Adonis will be able to do everything that a normal child does, as the chance of organ rejection is about 10 percent. That is good news for the adorable little boy with chubby cheeks and a beaming smile.
Adonis will be staying at the Ronald McDonald House with his mother so the doctors can monitor his condition and keep him under close observation. The family will not be able to spend Christmas at their Tampa home but the Ortizes will be spending their holiday with other family members in Miami.
By Juana Poareo