N.C. – May 10, 2017
– From the time he
was born, Dylan Hill has faced an uphill battle. Born with multiple medical
conditions, he had trouble breathing on his own, which caused brain damage. In
addition, he was put on dialysis when he was just a month old.
Shortly before he turned 2 – after
Randolph County resident Donna Hill and her husband offered to adopt him – he
received a kidney transplant at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
Now 11, Dylan is able to eat, talk and
walk, and is testing above his grade level in some subjects.
According to a recent study
published in the journal Pediatric
Transplantation, organ transplants in intellectually disabled (ID) people
Chen, D.O., associate professor of pediatrics at Brenner Children’s Hospital,
the pediatric arm of Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study, said people
with ID are often denied an organ transplant because some transplant centers feel
that these patients cannot follow a strict post-transplant medical regimen,
which often includes complex treatments to prevent rejection.
“This really breaks my heart. These
children may not be what we think of as ‘normal’, but they deserve as normal a
life as possible,” Donna Hill said. “Dylan has given me more understanding about
what life is all about than any other person on this earth. Why not give
children like Dylan a chance to live?”
in the study, Wake Forest Baptist researchers conducted a review of all 72
children who received kidney transplants at the Medical Center during a 10-year
period and found that children with ID can have similar outcomes as
non-disabled children. They concluded that if an adequate support network of
committed family members and caregivers is available, children with ID should
be considered as transplant candidates.
this remains a controversial issue, it is important that we be fair and
equitable to all patients,” Chen said. “I believe that children with
disabilities deserve equal consideration for transplants and access to
life-saving medical treatments. It’s my hope that this study encourages more
discussion about this topic.”
As for Dylan, he continues to make progress – he
enjoys reading on his iPad, playing Miracle League baseball and spending time
with his family – all thanks to doctors and loved ones who gave him a fighting