LIVEr Champion

Phillip Kennelly

Philip was born in July 2013 and was seemingly a happy, healthy baby. He had some jaundice in his eyes, but his parents were assured this was normal and it would soon fade away. At 6 weeks old Kim and Dan Kennelly realized that Philip’s jaundice was not going away and we insisted that they finally retest his bilirubin. They received a call later that day to get to the emergency room.
After many tests and a biopsy, it was determined that Philip had Biliary Atresia. At 8 weeks old he underwent a surgery called a Kasai which serves as kind of a “temporary” fix that allows bile to drain from the liver.
Philip spent the next 2 years in and out of the hospital. He developed Portal Hypertension, which caused him to have esophageal varices and GI bleeds. At that point it was determined that Philip should be listed for a liver transplant, but according to his bloodwork, his PELD score was not high enough to get him transplanted any time soon. His team suggested looking into living donation, so they discussed it as a family and decided that Philip’s Dad, Dan would get tested first. And he was a match!
On May 10th, 2016, both Phil and Dan were wheeled into the operating room and their lives were forever changed. Both are doing great since, and Dan sometimes forgets he even had surgery. Philip has had a couple of bumps along the way, but transplant has allowed him to start kindergarten this year and keep up with his peers. He is a typical 5 years old boy who loves cars and playing with his brother. You would never know all that he has been through if we didn’t tell you!


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