Mailbag - February 2021
Selfless people and brilliant docs
Many thanks to Cathy Gordon for the article highlighting live kidney donation [Forever Linked: A three-family kidney swap, by Cathy Gordon, January 2021]. The three-family kidney swap changed the lives of six people directly, but so many more indirectly. I happen to be one of those people. My son-in-law, Steven Thorpe, was a recipient. My daughter, Adrienne Thorp, was a donor. The experience was life changing for me, my children, and my grandchildren. I know the other families were impacted in the same way. I am grateful for healthy kidneys, the selfless people willing to donate to change the lives of others, and the brilliant doctors at Houston Methodist. Thank you to The Buzz.
Screen the newborns
My many thanks to Cindy Gabriel for highlighting the wonderful story of baby Faires Lord Weber and bringing attention to biliary atresia [Oh Wow! Uh Oh!: Winging it into 2021, by Cindy Gabriel, January 2021] As one parent put it, Baby Faires is a “Biliary Atresian” – a warrior called at an early age to fight bravely against a serious liver disease. Faires’ disease is the leading reason for why children need a liver transplant. However, Faires’ story shows how pediatricians working together across hospital systems (in this case the Woman’s Hospital of Texas and Texas Children’s Hospital) can improve outcomes by screening infants for biliary atresia at birth. Eventually, we hope to spread this Houston-grown newborn screening program to nurseries around the country, so that all babies born with biliary atresia can benefit.
Dr. Sanjiv "Sonny" Harpavat
Specialists on speed dial
One of the many pleasures of our job is collaborating with specialists to help in the care of a patient [Oh Wow! Uh Oh!, January 2021]. As a general pediatrician, we are often the first to encounter a patient and start a diagnostic workup. Most things with children are just normal, self resolved, no-big-deal type problems. But our job is to look for that “needle in a haystack,” which, in the case of Faires, was his initial bloodwork. It is a huge blessing to have Dr. [Sanjiv] Harpavat and the GI team literally on my speed dial to help in the management of a multitude of conditions. It really does take a village to care for these little ones, and I often feel like I’m the quarterback of a great team, ranging from specialists to nurses and the patient care techs – all surrounding ourselves around a family to offer our support in helping them raise their precious little ones.
Dr. Martha Sissa
Honor is barkworthy
The Brazda family and all of Jesse's supporters are paws-itively thrilled that he has been voted your Pet of the Year! We have been longtime supporters of the magazine, and we think the way the Buzz highlights pets of all kinds throughout the year is completely barkworthy. We all know how pets are such fur-real beloved family members. Jesse was just lucky that he fetched the most votes, but we congratulate all of the adorable contestants. As Jesse claims his Buzz POTY title, he continues to em-bark on his training to become a therapy dog, as mentioned in his Neighborhood Tails column. Again, our sincere thanks, and ap-paws, ap-paws to you for such a howling success of a POTY contest.
Amy, Halle, and Brady Brazda
Editor’s note: Thank you, Amy, and thanks to all who voted in our 10th annual Pet of the Year Contest. To have your pet considered for Neighborhood Tails and automatically be part of next year’s Pet of the Year Contest, submit a high-resolution photo and 150 words on our Submit Your Story Idea page or email [email protected].
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