Meet Brayden

Sometimes, it can be really hard to picture how your donation can make a difference.

Every day, we see the The Children’s Hospital at Westmead’s brightest minds working tirelessly to provide the best possible care to the smallest of patients. Their jobs are challenging and require the ongoing pursuit of breakthroughs. With donors like you, they are able to deliver groundbreaking treatments year-upon-year, improving little lives.

Your kindness means that surgeons at the Hospital, like Associate Professor Gordon Thomas, can offer cutting edge treatments to critically-ill patients like Brayden.

While on holidays last year, Brayden suddenly fell gravely ill. The normally fearless and energetic three-year-old became extremely lethargic and his skin started to turn a pale shade of yellow.

Brayden was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with a rare liver condition called Fulminant Liver Failure. His liver was only functioning at 40%.

The condition affects just a handful of children in Australia each year and is characterised by the sudden onset of acute liver failure in people who have had no previous liver problems.

Brayden’s condition was so critical, doctors only had days to find a transplant.

When doctors told us a transplant was Brayden’s only option, my heart broke. It’s so hard to think straight and I couldn’t bear the thought of losing him,

Kim, Brayden’s mum

Brayden was listed in the most urgent transplant category in the country, meaning that when the first liver in Australia or New Zealand became available, he was considered the priority. Just two days later the family received the best news - his doctors had found a match! But unlike most liver transplants, Brayden wasn’t going to have his old liver completely removed – instead he would live with two.

In a unique procedure known as the APOLT (Auxiliary partial orthotopic liver transplantation) procedure, half of Brayden’s damaged liver would be removed and a portion of the new liver would be attached in its place. This meant Brayden’s own liver could heal and recover over time. Then, once recovered, the donor liver would be removed.

This type of procedure helps kids live a normal childhood by preventing them from needing a lifetime of anti-rejection drugs and decreasing the likelihood of future transplants.

Brayden was only the second child in Australia to successfully undergo the APOLT procedure, and he is thriving! This specialist surgery was possible thanks to the generosity of his organ donor, the incredible skill of his clinicians and the support of people like you.

Witnessing patients like Brayden recover brings us clinicians so much joy and satisfaction. One minute he was in ICU, intubated and on dialysis, then days later post-transplant he was feeling great and giving me a ‘thumbs up.’ He’s like Superman, he’s just full of life and always cracks me up,

A/Prof Thomas, Brayden’s specialist

Now, one year on, Brayden’s liver has returned to normal function and his transplanted liver has been removed. Although, he was a little hesitant about doctors removing his ‘superpowers’, Brayden is super proud to show off his ‘shark bite’ scar.

By sharing stories like Brayden’s, we hope the impact of your donation is clear. You can help sick kids live their healthiest lives today, just:

  1. Click this link
  2. Donate what you can
  3. And help doctors to continue the very best treatments.

Donate to the Bandaged Bear Appeal today, for sick kids like Brayden.