WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — The same donor who gave 2-year-old Lucas Goeller a new liver is also helping another little boy.
A 3-year-old girl from Nebraska is the donor. She passed away after battling brain cancer.
Her intestine was transplanted into 4-year-old Angelo Giorno from Derry, Westmoreland County, at Children’s Hospital.
Giorno was born with his intestines outside his body, which resulted in a condition called short gut syndrome.
He’s forced to spend 16 hours a day attached to an IV to get nutrition.
Dean Kuhns and his husband Dale Darazio took Angelo into their family three years ago, as soon as they met him.
But they say it’s been a rough road for their little boy, with numerous infections and trips to the hospital.
After hoping and hoping for a transplant, they got a call telling them to get to Children’s Hospital immediately.
“Almost here to the hospital, we got stopped by the city police for speeding!” said Kuhns. But after they explained their situation: “The officer said, ‘Let’s go!’ He threw on the lights, the siren, and he brought us the rest of the way in.”
Angelo gave a thumbs up before the 10-hour operation to give him a new intestine.
Dr. Rakesh Sindhi from Children’s Hospital said, “The procedure went quite well. The organs were a good fit.”
Kuhns and Darazio are incredibly grateful to the little girl’s family for making the decision to donate her organs.
“We can’t thank you enough. Thank you doesn’t even sum it up,” said Darazio. “There’s probably not a word in our language.”
And as for Angelo, he’s already talking: “We were actually in the room when they took the tube out and this first words were, ‘Daddy! Juice,'” said Kuhns.
While there’s still a long road ahead, they believe this is the beginning of a new life for their little boy. “We look at it, today as a new birthday for him.”
While insurance covers some of the costs, they’re still facing some big medical bills.
They’re involved with a group that helps raise money for transplant costs. For more information: http://cotaforangelog.com/
Also, you can check out Angelo’s Transplant Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angelostransplant/timeline