North Texas 11-year-old awaiting historic double transplant
July 10, 2014 - MyFoxDFW.com
DALLAS - A girl from Trophy Club is waiting to make history with a lifesaving liver and kidney transplant.
It sounds scary for an 11-year-old, but Maddie Smith and her family are some of the most positive people.
Trey Smith said he will do whatever it takes to put a smile on his daughter's face.
"We have dress up parties where she gets to dress dad up in feather boas and we have finger nail parties. She gets to paint my fingernails and I paint hers," he said.
Maddie was born in Bedford, but shortly after was brought to Children's Medical Center in Dallas.
"She was breathing a little heavy and the doctor was smart enough to check her blood gases that showed it was way out of wack," her dad said.
"It was such a blur. When someone tells you something is wrong you just kick in to survival mode," added Jessica Smith, her mother.
At three days old Maddie was diagnosed with Methylmalonic Acidemia, a rare genetic disorder. Her body is unable to process certain proteins and fats properly. If not caught early, it can lead to death.
The diagnosis saved Maddie's life, but the family had no idea the struggles ahead.
"She is on a very strict regimen of a diet. She has a G button which we give her formula through. Basically every three hours we're giving her something to keep her metabolism engaged. She also gets night feeds at night. And, we've been through phases of chronic pancreatitis where she would get pancreatitis over and over again," Trey said.
Maddie currently undergoes dialysis at the hospital three days a week. Each treatment takes about three hours.
In the next few months she hopes to get a liver and kidney transplant. She will be the first child in the area with her special condition to receive a double transplant.
The scary thing is nationwide the number of people donating is down.
Maddie's doctor says saying yes to organ donations can save so many lives.
"We can get the heart, two lungs, two kidneys, one liver, one pancreas and one small bowl so there are eight individuals who can benefit from every donor," said Dr. Mouin Seikaly with the Children's Medical Center of Dallas.
Maddie is ready to conquer what lies ahead. Her family says together they will get through it.
"Something like this can either break you or make you and I think a lot of it is a choice. It's really easy to allow negative thoughts destroy you. We agreed early on that we weren't going to do that. We were going to stick together and allow each other to have bad days. It's a big deal, forgiveness and just being positive and allowing ourselves to think anything but positive," Jessica said.
"Maddie has just been this, not only glue in our family but she is a beacon of light. She never complains. She has an incredible positive attitude on everything. Sometimes we sit back and say how can we complain when she takes everything with such grace," Trey said.
The Smith family has set up a non-profit organization at GoTeamMaddie.org. More information is also available at childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org.
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