Published on August 15th, 2015
The PEACE Fund recently became aware of Alex’s story through our association with the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA). PEACE immediately wanted to help and selected Alex to be our recipient of this year’s David Frey Memorial Golf Fund Raiser, scheduled for August 10, 2015 at Cherry Valley Country Club. Here is Alex’s story…
Alex was born prematurely, but in otherwise good health. Unfortunately, being born prematurely meant his immune system was not quite ready to fight off the infection that changed the lives of him and his family. Shortly after his birth, he contracted necrotizing enterocolitis, an infection common among premature infants that attacks and kills tissue in the intestines. Many children manage to overcome the infection and move onto healthy lives. Alexander's case was particularly severe. He eventually managed to beat it, but not before the surgeon had to remove his entire colon and the majority of his small intestine.
Nowadays, Alexander receives the majority of his nutrition from Total Parenteral Nutrition rather than from food like you and me. While this method has allowed him to grow, play, and even begin school like a normal 5-year-old boy, it is not a permanent solution. The longer he relies on it, the more likely he is to suffer dangerous infections and complications. He has been evaluated and added to the national transplant list. A transplant surgery will allow him to live a near-normal life and digest food the traditional way. His family anxiously awaits the call saying Alexander's organs are available. The surgery will take place at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, which is the top hospital in the country for this procedure. While risky, it could be a miracle for little Alexander. This surgery costs $2 million dollars on average. Even after insurance, the costs will add up for years to come. Alexander will need to be near the hospital in Pittsburgh for checkups for nearly one year after the surgery, and will need immunosuppressant drugs for life.
PEACE is counting on the wonderful and generous participants in this year’s David Frey Memorial to help Alex receive the transplant he so desperately needs and begin his road to recovery and live a long and healthy life.