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Jaylin's Story

Jun 6, 2019

First Pediatric Liver Transplant Performed at Children's Hospital of Michigan

A 15-year old Oakland County teen has a second chance at life after being the first liver recipient at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, a part of the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), through a newlyexpanded collaboration with Henry Ford Hospital.


Jaylin is recovering at home after his April 11 discharge from Children’s Hospital of Michigan. He was diagnosed at 7 months with cystic fibrosis (CF), cirrhosis of the liver. Then at age 11, he was diagnosed with familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), an inherited disorder characterized by multiple noncancerous (benign) growths (polyps) in the colon.

The March 30 transplant involved a team of specialists including nationally renowned liver transplant surgeon Marwan Abouljoud, M.D., director of the Henry Ford Transplant Institute, who is on staff at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Jaylin’s pre-transplant and post transplant care will continue to be managed by a multidisciplinary team of pediatric medical and surgical specialists on staff, including Najeeb F. Zoubi, M.D., hepatologist and the medical director of the Children's Hospital of Michigan's Liver Disease and Transplant Program and Joseph Lelli Jr., M.D., surgeon in chief, Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Jaylin’s mom, Sylvia, says the journey has been a long one, but her prayers have been answered.

“I prayed long ago when Jaylin was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis that God would make him a fighter,” Sylvia says. “Jaylin is a fighter, which has helped him overcome medical obstacles. The process has been an emotional, bittersweet roller coaster because Jaylin has been given a new lease on life due to a deceased donor. We are so thankful to the donor and family, doctors, nurses and staff at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. They saved my son’s life and we will forever be grateful.”

Dean Kim, M.D., chief of transplant, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and surgical director of kidney and pancreas transplantation at the Henry Ford Transplant Institute, helped forge the new pediatric transplant collaboration between the two institutions. The new collaboration now offers metro Detroit’s only pediatric kidney transplant program, as well as the tri-county area’s only pediatric heart transplant program, under the direction of Celeste Williams, M.D., medical director of Henry Ford Transplant Institute’s Heart Transplant Program as well as Children's Hospital of Michigan's pediatric heart transplant program.

“This collaboration merges fantastic medical expertise and advanced technologies for the benefit of the youngest patients in southeast Michigan,” Dr. Kim says. “It’s a win-win for everyone.”

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