|Our lives were forever changed on October 18, 2013 when our son, Dillon William Patterson was born. Right away, we knew he was a special baby because Dillon was born smiling with his two very deep dimples on either side of his cheeks that multiplied to four when he was extra happy. In a household with two children under two, we had short nights that were filled with burp cloths, lullabies, pacing up and down the hallway and long, long days- but our household was always filled with laughter.
On January 2013 at just 2 and a half months, Dillon was diagnosed with biliary atresia. In biliary atresia, the bile ducts become inflamed and blocked soon after birth. This causes bile to remain in the liver, where it starts to destroy liver cells rapidly and cause cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver. There is no cure for biliary atresia and his only chance in surviving was to have a liver transplant.
Although Dillon was soon placed in the national transplant list, Dillon only received one potential donor offer but the surgeons determined it was not an ideal fit. We also tried to see if we were matches. With Dillon’s momma having the same blood type, our family was hopeful that she would be able to be his living donor but that too, was not a good fit.
After many months of living in and out of hospitals and giving it all we possibly had, Dillon finally succumbed to his deteriorating liver. Try as we might, the doctor’s told us there was nothing more that could be done and we held Dillon as he passed away in our arms on October 1, 2013- just 17 days shy of his 1st birthday. We were so hopeful that since he was on the very top of the transplant list, he would receive an offer but this was a gift that Dillon was not able to receive due to the lack of livers available.
It was so heartbreaking that we weren’t able to “fix it” the way mom and dad’s “fix things” when their little ones are sick. We felt helpless and we were so just so desperate. Although Dillon’s journey is over, there is so much work to be done. Being an organ donor can be the last gift you give and a priceless gift that will keep on giving.
Please consider becoming an organ donor. Our mission in life is to spread awareness, give hope and deliver love.
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