, Gairett's father said, "There was no time to panic. Your stomach knots up and it's just `holy cow,' because you've always known it was going to happen but never believed it was going to happen."
The operation went on for 12 hours as a team of eight surgeons replaced his organs.
Therapondos said that one of the most daunting parts of the operation is to ensure that blood flows properly once the new organs are installed.
He said, "The most crucial time is when the blood vessels that supply the liver are opened up. For reasons we don't really understand, the patient can become unstable when the blood supply goes into the new liver."
However despite the potential complications, Gairett's surgery went on smoothly and his parents found him sitting up in bed, talking in a strong voice, looking healthier than he had in months. His father said, "It was amazing. It was so good to see colour in his face."
Gairett has been through scores of health problems growing up. His problems ranged from loss of sight in one eye, hearing in one ear, breaking his leg while skiing, running and playing soccer. In fact, it had to be lengthened because it was broken so many times and had eventually stopped growing.
While the cause of the poorly formed blood vessels in his bowel is still unknown, doctors assume that it could be related to an infection Gairett developed while his leg was being treated.
Therapondos said, "We'll be inspecting the organs that came out to determine what the issue was." As an organ recipient, Gairett will have to go in for regular checkups and take immune-system suppressants for the rest of his life so his body doesn't reject its new parts. Therapondos said that since he has had so many organs transplanted at once, finding the right dosage of suppressants can be difficult. This also made it difficult to put a time frame on Gairett's release from Toronto General.
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