A rare disease has left a two-year-old boy in need of five organ transplants to survive, WSOC-TV reported.
Keith Powell, of Rock Hill, South Carolina was born with short bowel syndrome, a condition that prevents his intestine from properly absorbing nutrients from food. Now, he is awaiting a life-saving intestinal transplant at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina. He could be out of the hospital Tuesday, doctors said, but there is no word on when or if he’d get the transplants.
“He needs a small intestine, large intestine, pancreas, aorta and liver,” Keith’s dad, Jimmy Powell, told WSOC-TV.
It could take months, but Keith’s parents are in the process of putting him on a waiting list. For now, Keith gets life-sustaining medicine through a port in his chest that leads directly to his heart.
“He is always smiling,” Keith’s mother, Amber Powell, told the news station. “Unless he is completely miserable with a fever, he is always smiling.”
Because the surgery will weaken Keith’s immune system, the family is in the process of building a special medical room that has a filtration and ventilation system to keep germs out when he returns home. The catch: The system will cost an estimated $10,000.
The Powell’s community has stepped in to assist with costs. On Dec. 6, Italian Island, a local pizza restaurant, will host a fundraiser, donating 10 percent of their income from the entire day.
The Powell family hopes to raise the money they need in four months. They are accepting donations via Paypal with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.