This Uncle’s Liver Donation Saved His Nephew’s Life, It Also Dramatically Changed His Own

Parents will go to great lengths to ensure that their children are safe and healthy. Imagine Matt and Andrea Campbell’s shock when they learned that Matt was unable to donate an organ to their 1-year-old son, Brooks, who was in desperate need of one.

Thankfully, Andrea’s younger brother, Grant, was more than eager to be Andrea’s nephew’s organ donor, saving both of their lives. Brooks is now a rambunctious 2-year-old.

Matt and Andrea talked about Grant’s inspirational altruistic gesture and their one-of-a-kind tale in an interview.

The family was outdoors shooting photos for their Christmas cards, when Andrea noticed that her 17-month-old son appeared yellow in the shots. Brooks puked after breakfast the next morning, causing alarm. Following that, the concerned parents took their youngster to the doctor.

Andrea and Matt, posing for their Christmas card photo together with 17-month old Brooks.

“His liver appeared to be in good structural shape.” Andrea was the one who shared.

“However, his liver values and tests were astronomically high.”

Brook, it turned out, had acute liver failure, likely caused by the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). It’s a fairly common, infectious virus that causes respiratory tract illnesses.

The GI specialist then informed the anxious parents that Brooks would be moved to Cleveland Clinic in case he needed a liver transplant.

Andrea described how she felt by saying, “It was like a ton of bricks.” “I mean, where did this come from?” says the narrator.

“At the time, we didn’t know what caused the liver failure, but the situation was extremely, really urgent,” says Dr. Koji Hashimoto, head of Cleveland Clinic’s living donor liver transplantation program. “He didn’t have much liver function left when he arrived. You will not be able to survive if your liver function is entirely lost.”

Because a liver transplant was Brooks’ sole choice for survival, a separate team of Cleveland Clinic caregivers worked rapidly to undertake a simplified living organ donor evaluation for acute liver failure.

“You have days, weeks, or even months to find a living donor for someone with severe liver failure.” Dr. Radhakrishnan, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist for children, stated. “But we didn’t have the luxury of time with Brooks.” We needed to locate the proper individual as soon as possible.”

The team, lead by Donna Ferchill, RN, clinical nurse manager for liver transplants, and Natashia Rush, transplant coordinator, began looking for a match within the immediate family. Andrea was thrown out of the running since she was pregnant at the time.

Matt, the father, believed he would be the finest option. Unfortunately, hours of testing revealed he and everyone on his side of the family had a hereditary blood clotting issue, ruling them out.

Brooks together with his Dad, Matt. The then 17-month-old child needs an organ donation to survive.

“It was difficult to hear,” the father said. “I was psychologically prepared to go in and assist Brooks straight away. We needed to find out how we were going to go about doing this now.”

When the parents learned that they were both disqualified, they were surrounded by their relatives, including Andrea’s brother, Grant, who had traveled up from Texas.

“When our little baby died, I knew, ‘I’m up.'” Grant recalled something. “I felt like I came here for a reason when I moved here from Austin. ‘This is the cause,’ I began to think. ‘I’m meant to be the one who donates.’

Grant was put to the test and found to be a perfect fit. He contacted his sister right away after hearing the wonderful news and told her about his plans to donate his organs.

“I said, ‘Let’s go baby,’ and she looked at me like, ‘Well, what does it mean?'” Grant reminisced about how he broke the exciting news to Andrea. “I was like, ‘We’re going!'” says the narrator.

Andrea wears a bracelet that says “LET’S GO BABY!!!” to this day to remember that important time in their life.

Grant made his decision in the midst of a challenging situation. He had recently relocated away from his family to Texas, terminated a relationship, and experienced the failure of a new business, all of which contributed to his despair.

“I simply felt useless as a guy and alone, unwanted since I wasn’t talking to anyone about it,” a tearful Grant explained. “I’ve simply gone into seclusion.” Then, towards the end of January, I began to have suicidal thoughts and considered killing myself.” He admitted it.

“And I’m so glad I didn’t because little Brooks needed me 10 months later.” “I don’t know if he would have made it if I hadn’t been there,” Grant added.

A nurse urged Grant to think about something that makes him truly happy before falling asleep while he awaited the organ transplant.

“My pleasant thought would be watching Brooks running about and being the cheerful boy we all knew he was, who brings so much joy into our lives,” I told her.

Grant’s cheerful notion has, of course, become reality. Brooks has healed and is once again a lively, energetic child.

“It’s often said that children are resilient.” Andrea generously shared. “He’d have these enormous stitches in his stomach and be jumping over the sofa like nothing was wrong.”

Andrea said, “Once we got home, he just bloomed into this new little guy.”

“I’ve had a lot of difficulties throughout my life. But, for the first time, it seemed like it gave me a purpose throughout the process. That is something for which I will be eternally thankful.” Grant described how his organ donation altered his life in a heartfelt speech.

“He and Brooks are going to have a particular friendship for the rest of their lives.” The thankful mother expressed her gratitude. “He gave us the gift of life, and I’m not sure how you can repay someone for that.”

Grant and Brooks, celebrating the anniversary of their organ transplant.

“I joke that one day I’ll write a book and put ‘Dedicated to Brooks, people thought I saved your life that night in November, but in truth, you saved mine.'”

Brooks provided his life a sense of purpose, making it more significant than ever. Grant may have saved Brooks’ life, but Brooks gave his life a sense of purpose, making it more meaningful than ever.

Watch the video below to see how an organ donation rescued Brooks’ life and Grant’s from a bad situation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *