This Last Resort for SBS Saved Her Life

Imagine being healthy one day, then hospitalized the next, and your way of life irrevocably changed?

For many people with short bowel syndrome (SBS), that is exactly what has happened to them.

To be fair, sometimes, a birth defect causes someone to have a large section of their bowel removed in infancy. However, as in the case with this brave woman, the birth defect was never caught. It wasn’t until she was 21 years old that her bowels rebelled.

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Kinda like this. Source: www.giphy.com

Forced into emergency surgery, she woke up with her life forever changed. Because the right part of her colon had been denied blood, it had been removed. But that wasn’t all. The damage affected her pancreas and liver as well.

Her only solution was to hope for a transplant. But she needed one of the rarest transplants in the world: liver, pancreas, AND intestine.

It makes sense that rare diseases often require rare solutions.

She surgery she needed has only been done 2,745 times in the past 26 years. Luckily, she had an incredible surgeon who was able to perform the 16-hour transplant.

What makes him so incredible? He participated in roughly half of those 2,745 transplants.

Transplants involving the intestine are incredibly complex and have a huge chance for problems. Part of the issue is pure surface area, and the other is the fact that the intestines have the second highest concentration of nerves in the body. Unsurprisingly, the brain is the first.

Thankfully, for people with SBS, there are some options before getting a transplant:

  • TPN – trans parenteral nutrition
  • Prescription medication

However, sometimes, these don’t work and a transplant is really the last and only option. For this incredible woman, her great healthcare team helped her get through the surgery. And while she’s not in the clear yet, we dearly hope she will be.

If you’re interested in donating money to help her family offset these costs, you can donate here.


Farrah Fontaine

Farrah Fontaine

As a child, Farrah Fontaine always knew she wasn't normal. Part of her family descends from the ancient Silk Road, which made her stand out in the Great White North. That's why she wants to give voice to the voiceless so they know they're not alone.

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