10 years later, Ferrysburg girl still thriving after triple organ transplant
POSTED 6:30 PM, MAY 8, 2015, BY JANICE ALLEN, UPDATED AT 11:16PM, MAY 8, 2015
FERRYSBURG, Mich., — Next month, Jasmine Dombroswki will turn twelve, but she is already celebrating another special milestone. Ten years ago, the fifth-grader underwent triple organ transplant surgery, receiving a new liver, small bowel and pancreas.
“Chances of getting that, just aren’t good. Being able to get all three of them for an infant, that would fit her as well and her blood type…But it worked, so we got really lucky,” said Stacy Allen, Jasmine’s mother. “Now it’s 10 years later and she’s still doing perfect, with no signs of rejection in any three of her organs.
Jasmine was born two months premature, weighing just over two pounds. Within weeks of the delivery, her mother learned Jasmine had developed Necrotizing Enterocolitis, a condition that caused portions of the bowel to die and need to be removed.
“She had to have so much of hers taken out that she needed to have a transplant,” explained Allen. “When we were sent home, she was on the transplant list.”
After five and half months in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, the family had to now wait for the call that could save Jasmine’s life. It came on January, 17, 2005, when Jasmine was exactly one and a half years old.
The family flew to Omaha where Jasmine underwent surgery at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. The family has since learned the donor was a little boy, but due to transplant protocol, much of the other information, including his identity has been kept anonymous.
Allen has tried to express her gratitude to the donor’s family with a letter.
“Writing a note like that is heart wrenching, because they had to lose their kid in order to save mine,” she said.
To celebrate the 10 year milestone, Stacy and Jasmine are planning to return to Omaha in July for the Nebraska Medical Center’s annual transplant reunion. The event brings together hundreds of patients, along with transplant surgeons and staff.
Jasmine said her message to the doctors who saved her life, would simply be “thanks”.
The 11-year-old still has the scars from the surgery and feeding tube that she had to use for years, but now she is eating on her own and healthy.
“She’s a miracle, everybody tells her, she is such a miracle baby,” said Allen. “When she gets older, she’ll understand everything she’s been through since birth, and she’ll understand she’s a miracle baby.”
A family member has created a GoFundMe account to help the family raise money for travel expenses.
If you’d like to learn more, or donate, click here.