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Friday, March 12, 2010

Road to Recovery : Life after Transplant

Some helpful information about the transplant journey and updates on Ethan and Tina.

The Patient (information below were retrieved from the website of the Asian Centre for Liver Diseases and Transplantation):

  • Immediately after surgery, the patient is placed on intensive care for 5-7 days so that there can be continual monitoring for any infection, rejection, or poor functioning of the new liver. Rejection occurs because the transplanted liver is recognized as foreign by the body. This is the body's normal reaction to any foreign substance.

  • For the rest of his life, the patient will need to take immunosuppressants to prevent rejection of the new liver. Without these medications, his body will reject the new liver and could lose it. Immunosuppressants weaken the patient’s immune system and may result in him having an increased risk of infection.

  • Once the anesthesia wears off, patients should expect some pain and discomfort but strong painkillers will be administered through the IV to relieve the pain.

  • Seven tubes will be attached to the patient while in ICU to monitor the vital signs, to administer medication and to drain some of the body wastes and unnecessary fluids.

  • The Transplant Team, led by Dr K C Tan, will continue to assess and review patient’s condition everyday on rounds to determine plans for ongoing care and to see how well the new liver is functioning.

  • Patient will continue to receive fluids, medications and nutrition intravenously, but will eventually be re-introduced to a normal diet. Blood samples will be sent to the laboratory everyday. X-rays and scans are ordered by the team, if necessary. Patient will be asked to cough (or cry for babies) regularly and to do breathing exercises in order to expand his lungs and prevent pneumonia.

  • During this recovery period, the patient will feel better on some days than on others. This is the norm. Different patients have different recovery periods, with complications playing a major role in the recuperation rate. The degree of weakness he experiences will depend upon his physical condition prior to surgery.

Update on Ethan Fajardo:

  • Praise the Lord, for Ethan is now able to breathe independently. His breathing tube was already removed yesterday. There are six more tubes attached to him. Doctors are closely monitoring Ethan’s condition. Yesterday’s liver scan showed that his new liver is functioning well. The flow of the blood through the veins is also good. The next few days and weeks are crucial in the transplant process. Immunosuppressants are being given to him to make sure his body accepts the new liver perfectly. Vitamins and other food supplements are also given so that he will be much stronger and healthier. He is able to rest and sleep well-- even with the six tubes attached to him.

The Donor (information below were retrieved from the website of the Asian Centre for Liver Diseases and Transplantation):

  • Once the donor’s condition is stabilized, she will be transferred out of the ICU to the semi- or private room in the Liver Ward and will continue to be given pain medications and fluid via IV (intravenous) drip for a short period before beginning to eat and drink.

  • Provided there is no complication, the donor is encouraged to:

    • ‘Exercise’ as in walking around, flexing and relaxing the leg muscles, to help prevent the formation of blood clots and muscle wasting;
    • Take deep breaths and cough periodically to prevent pneumonia

  • The donor usually stays in the hospital for seven to ten days after the surgery. The donor can expect to experience pain and discomfort anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

Update on Tina Fajardo:

  • Tina had already been transferred to a semi-private room yesterday. Doctors took out the catheter and the other machines and tubes connected to her. She was able to sit down for an hour this morning. The doctors are encouraging her to slowly start moving around and do simple exercises to ensure good blood flow. She is also doing some breathing exercises for her lungs. She is still on dextrose, but she has started following a soft diet. She still experiences some pain.

Please continue to pray for the following:

  • Complete healing and recovery for Ethan and Tina.

  • That Ethan will be much stronger and healthier.

  • Rest, strength and guidance for Geoff as he takes care of Ethan and Tina in the next few weeks.

  • That God will continue to pour His abundant provision for the after-transplant needs of the Fajardos.

Thank you so much for trusting God with us for this miracle in the lives of Geoffrey, Tina, and Ethan. May God pour more of His abundant blessings upon you.


  1. Praise the Lord, my whole family has been very excited to see the success!! We will continue to pray for you all.

    From George Ha

  2. Praise the Lord! Thank you for these fresh updates and pictures. They serve as an encouragement. We share in your joy! May the Lord supply you all with daily strength, hope, wisdom and refreshments for your souls.

    Reuben and Joan Acosta

  3. Hi! I praise Jesus for this miracle! Our God is Able!