DETROIT -

A 15-year-old Troy boy 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 newly expanded collaboration with Henry Ford Hospital.

“Children’s Hospital of Michigan has a long history of providing life-saving transplant services for children in need, beginning with the first kidney transplant performed in 1970,” says Larry M. Gold, CEO, Children’s Hospital of Michigan.  “Our program is strengthened even further through our collaboration with the Henry Ford Transplant Institute, a national leader in liver transplantation and Michigan’s most comprehensive multi-organ transplant center.  As we celebrate Organ Donor Awareness Month in April, we are thrilled to be able to provide patients and their families with access to the only pediatric liver and organ transplant program in metropolitan Detroit.” 

Jaylin Daniels is recovering at home after his April 11 discharge from Children’s Hospital of Michigan.  He was diagnosed at seven 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 was led by David A. Bruno, M.D., surgical director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program on staff at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and senior staff surgeon at the Henry Ford Transplant Institute.  He was assisted by Gabriel Schnickel, M.D., transplant surgeon, Henry Ford Transplant Institute and nationally renowned liver transplant surgeon Marwan Abouljoud, M.D., director of the Henry Ford Transplant Institute, who are both 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 surgery went extremely well, and our highly skilled team worked together seamlessly,” Bruno said. “Jaylin also has great family support, which is very important for his continued recovery. We’re very pleased.” 

Jaylin’s mom, Sylvia Dewan, 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,” Dewan said. “Jaylin is a fighter, which has helped him overcome medical obstacles. The process has been an emotional, bittersweet rollercoaster 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.”