By writer to www.nwaonline.com
Ethan Griggs of Siloam Springs shouldn’t be fairly 2 years outdated, however he wants a brand new kidney.
The excellent news is the toddler’s dad, Capt. Zac Griggs, who has served as a firefighter and paramedic for the Siloam Springs Hearth Division for the previous six years, is a match. Surgical procedure for the transplant from father to son is scheduled for Nov. 12, in keeping with Heidi Duhachek, spokeswoman for the EthanStrong Marketing campaign, which helps increase cash for the household’s bills. The marketing campaign, organized by way of the Kids’s Organ Transplant Affiliation (COTA), kicked off in September.
In the meantime, Ethan’s mother Jennifer Griggs gave start to the couple’s second youngster final month, Duhachek says.
Ethan was a wholesome child for his first 12 months of life till November 2019, at age 13 months, he went into septic shock, which brought on cardiac arrest, a colostomy and a number of organ failure, in keeping with his story, posted on his COTA webpage.
Ethan and his mother and father spent the primary few months of his sickness at Arkansas Kids’s Hospital in Little Rock earlier than he was medically flown to Omaha, Neb., for additional therapy. Throughout his time in Nebraska, Ethan was within the intestinal rehab program, and the rest of his intestines started working once more. His life improved, along with his liver therapeutic fully in March, and he was discharged in February to proceed outpatient dialysis in Arkansas.
Sadly, the one pediatric dialysis unit in Arkansas is at Arkansas Kids’s Hospital in Little Rock. At first, the Griggs household discovered a spot to remain at Glory Home Basis, however with Zac touring for work, Jennifer pregnant and a sick toddler, coping whereas away from their help system made them resolve to maneuver again to Siloam Springs and commute to Little Rock three days every week for dialysis. Gasoline alone for the journeys prices $400 a month.
In August, Ethan and Zac’s transplant analysis was accomplished, and Ethan was accepted to be positioned on the transplant checklist whereas Zac was accepted as a match.
“We had been excited as a result of it nearly looks like there’s a little bit of sunshine on the finish of a tunnel,” Zac says.
When Zac discovered his son wanted a brand new kidney, he knew straight away he wished to donate, he says. Sometimes, as soon as a affected person is on a transplant checklist, there’s a three- to five-year wait earlier than they obtain an organ, until a member of the family is a match, he says.
The household is worked up but additionally somewhat scared because the transplant is turning into a actuality with surgical procedure scheduled within the close to future, Zac says.
“As a father or mother, you need what’s finest in your youngster,” he says. “We had been out of choices, and transplant is the most suitable choice.”
A transplant will hopefully enable Ethan’s physique to function as shut as potential to the best way it could naturally, moderately than being hooked as much as a dialysis machine 3 times every week, he says.
Ethan will spend two weeks within the hospital for the transplant, and the Griggs household might want to spend a minimum of six to eight weeks within the Omaha space, together with each Thanksgiving and Christmas, Jennifer says.
Ethan will proceed to wish medical help all through his life, his mother and father say. Kidney failure impacts the style buds, so sufferers cease consuming and shed pounds. Ethan is presently fed method by way of a nasogastric tube. His mother and father are hopeful that with speech remedy and continued work, he’ll be capable to eat by mouth, Jennifer says.
Ethan will even want anti-rejection medicines for the remainder of his life, at an estimated price of as much as $2,000 a month, Jennifer says. Pediatric sufferers are anticipated to maintain a kidney for 10 to 15 years, so sooner or later in his life he’ll in all probability want one other transplant, she says.
Jennifer says the couple have realized quite a bit about residing organ donation by way of the method. She hopes their expertise will increase consciousness and educate folks about the potential of organ donation to save lots of somebody’s life.
Although she wasn’t capable of donate to Ethan due to her being pregnant, Jennifer went right down to the Division of Motor Autos to register as an organ donor, she says.
The fireplace division household, neighborhood and relations have come collectively to help Ethan and his mother and father, beginning when Ethan was first admitted to the hospital final November, Zac and Jennifer say. Folks have helped out nonetheless they might, from providing to mow the household’s yard to retaining Ethan on their prayer checklist.
“I am grateful that lots of people are prepared to return collectively to hope for somebody they do not know, to assist,” Jennifer says. “We really feel blessed and beloved.”
The Kickstarter fundraising marketing campaign, which has a purpose of $40,000, was formally initiated on Sept. 12 as a result of the quantity 12 is particular to Jennifer and Zac, Duhachek says. Ethan will have a good time his second birthday on Oct. 12, and his transplant is scheduled precisely one month in a while Nov. 12, she says. The household might want to make preparations to ensure their payments are taken care of whereas in addition they make plans to have somebody accessible to care for Zac post-surgery whereas Jennifer is within the hospital with Ethan, she says.
As a part of the marketing campaign, Duhachek requested folks to make a contribution to the marketing campaign in multiples of $12, whether or not it’s $12, $24 or $144, she says.
“Any quantity will make an enormous distinction and can assist ease the monetary burden on the household,” she says.
The Siloam Springs Native Firefighters Affiliation can also be internet hosting a golf event to assist increase funds for COTA in honor of Ethan. The event will start at 9 a.m. Nov. 7 at The Creeks RV and Golf Resort in Cave Springs. For extra data, name (501) 712-3171.
COTA helps kids and younger adults who want a life-saving transplant with fundraising and household help, in keeping with the group’s web site. One-hundred p.c of contributions made by way of the nonprofit assist meet transplant-related bills and are tax deductible, it states. Cash donated will go into an account for Ethan that he can use for the remainder of his life, Duhachek says.
Ethan Griggs (heart) performs along with his mother and father, Zach and Jennifer Griggs. Ethan will get a brand new kidney from his dad on Nov. 12.
(Courtesy Photograph/Deanna Larkin, Larkin Pictures)
How To Assist
• Donate to Ethan by way of the Kids’s Organ Transplant Affiliation at cota.org/campaigns/COTAforEthanStrong.
• Play in a fundraising golf event Nov. 7 at The Creeks in Cave Springs. For data, name (501) 712-3171.
• To study extra about turning into an organ donor, go to organdonor.gov.
Janelle Jessen is a reporter for the Siloam Springs Herald-Chief. E-mail her at [email protected]
— to www.nwaonline.com