Seven-year-old Awaits Transplant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Seven-year-old Awaits Transplant

April 19, 2007

Leesburg -- Easton Blanchard is a busy young man. He's catching up on school work he missed while undergoing several emergency operations in January.

He's good at math, but his favorite subject? "Science," said Easton.

Perhaps that's because Easton has been the subject of studies all his life.  When he was just 18-months-old, he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.  A surgery from complications with MD caused scar tissue. In January, his small intestines became wrapped in knots and Easton was rushed to a Macon hospital.

"That Thursday is when he got really bad," said his mom, Heather.  His dad Brian takes over as she falls into tears.  He said, "The doctor come out and told us we were losing him."

For Brian and Heather Blanchard, It's a hard memory, but Easton made it through that surgery, and another two in that same 48 hour span. "He's been through so much, and we were not going to give up on him, and no one else was going to give up on him."

Easton pulled through, to the amazement of just about everyone, including his doctors, but that's just the beginning of his road to recovery. "Now the next step is to try to get on the transplant list.  That's our main goal and to keep him healthy," said Brian.

Easton only has four inches of his small intestines remaining.  That's not enough.  He needs at least four to six feet to survive.

And how rare are those transplants? "We were told at first that they don't do them," said Heather.

Finally one of Easton's doctors found a place in Pittsburgh that does small bowel transplants.  The Blanchards say it doesn't matter how far away it is, they'll do whatever's necessary to help Easton. "We would fly, drive, sail anywhere we had to go if it meant he could get a small intestines and it would work for him," said his mom.

"Like I said, he's a true fighter," said Brian.  "God has a special plan for him."

"He deserves as much of a chance of life as anybody else, and we're going to make it happen," said Heather.

So that Easton can enjoy that simple, yet essential part of life, most of us take for granted everyday, eating.

The Blanchards are working to set up a fundraising foundation to help pay for Easton's transplant.  You can check up on Easton by clicking on his name.  Once you get to the caring bridge website, click visit a site, then enter EastonBlanchard (all one word) and you can access his page.

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