While standing above a hospital, Michelle Shark was holding the hand of her nephew gently. Shark was seeing him sleeping while running her hands in the hairs. And a piece of Shark’s liver is now insider 2-year-old Gavin Giacalone. And the family of Gavin is helpful that liver transplant will make things better for him.
Back in November 2017, Shark’s nephew was diagnosed with GM3 Synthase Deficiency – a genetic disorder. Gavin’s family traveled to California and San Diego and then finally to Pittsburgh for his treatment. While giving an interview, Matt Shark, husband of Michelle said that when the family decided for the liver transplant, Michelle didn’t think twice. He further said that his wife was the first in the line to be tested for the liver match.
Both the aunt and the nephew underwent liver transplant on June 9 in Pittsburgh. Mitchelle, a nurse, recovered quicker than expected. However, there are some complications in Gavin’s recovery but the family is hopeful about the health of little one. The parents of Gavin used Facebook to update people on his health. The father Vince Giacalone and mother Kendra shared details on the Facebook page named “Gavin’s Rare Journey”.
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Posted by WTOL NEWS 11 on Friday, June 22, 2018
While giving an update on June 22, the parents wrote that according to the hepatologist, if everything goes according to the plan, Gavin will be discharged from here to the Pittsburg and then back to home in San Diego in a month.
Shark also thanked the nurses and other medical staff who cared Gavin a lot during the treatment. Shark wrote on Facebook that she has never seen a surgeon as good as Dr. Humar. She said that she is very thankful to all the medical staff of UPMC to provide Gavin another opportunity to live.
Shark’s husband was also motivated by the brave decision of his wife as he rooted for the smooth recovery of his wife and Gavin. He also shared the story of his wife which was then aired on WTOL 11. Matt said that his wife Michelle has the biggest heart and for him, she is the true hero. Matt further said that being a female, to undergo a liver surgery is a brave decision and while doing so, she has given Gavin the best chance to live again.
The disease with which Gavin is suffering is not too common and that’s why the treatment is one-of-a-kind. But Gavin’s family is optimistic about his health and hope that they will get the 2-year-old back home soon. In a Facebook post, Michelle said the post-discharge meeting with Dr. Humar went well and the doc said that she was healing quickly. In another post made on June 14, Mitchelle uploaded her picture with Gavin captioning “first meeting with the nephew after transplant”.
On June 26, the last update was made by the parents on the Facebook page in which it was stated that Gavin had a better sleep last night but his agitation was at the extreme. The doctors and the surgeon said that reason for such a high agitation is pain caused by multiple sources. The doctors have added the longer pain medication to the already-in-progress shorter pain medication, the page wrote. At the same time, the doctors will also find out what is causing Gavin such a high pain other than the liquid in his lungs. Before the transplant, the doctors found that 2-year-old has broken ribs and will also do a complete body X-ray to check out any broken bone. According to them, it happened during seizures he had in the previous hospital.
The doctors also said that Gavin has osteopenia and it is very easy for him to have a broken bone, the parents wrote on the page. UPMC medical staff is also in contact with the neurosurgeon who did the cyst reduction surgery of Gavin. The chest tube of Gavin was rained out this morning and 100ml fluid drained out, the parents further updated.