At the age of 7, Jovoni was diagnosed with Auto-Immune Hepatitis. After two bouts of high fever, jaundice and fatigue, it was determined that Jovoni's liver was functioning on borrowed time and one day he would need a liver transplant. Jovoni spent 9 years under the watchful eye of Dr. Dennis Christi in the Gastroenterology Clinic at Children's.
Unfortunately, the inevitable had come, and in Oct. 2004, Dr. Christi told us that the time had come for Jovoni to be placed on the liver transplant list. There was nothing more that could be medically done to save his liver.
On Nov. 22, 2005, Jovoni woke up sick and bloated from fluid build up and had to be admitted at Children's. By the 25th, he was so sick he was vomiting blood and fluid had built up in his lungs and he had to be intebated. He spent several days in ICU. On Dec. 4th we were told that a liver was available, unfortunately, it did not work out and Jovoni had to continue to wait. One night he told me he prayed for a liver for Christmas and that was the hope we held on to.
Jovoni was back in ICU and was declining fast. By Dec. 22, his pneumonia levels were so high that he had to be dialyzed to bring them down. He was no longer able to clot and he began to bleed profusely from everywhere. That night Jovoni coded, and every available doctor and nurse was in his room, fighting to save his life.
The transplant team met every morning updating us on his status and re-assuring us that a liver would come soon. And then, the best news on earth! Dec 24th, Christmas Eve, we got word that a liver had been found. At 16 years and 79 pounds, Jovoni got his Christmas Miracle. A team of wonderful doctors and nurses led by the amazing Dr. Jorge Reyes transplanted Jovoni's sick liver with a healthy new liver. After a 2 month stay, Jovoni was finally going home.
Now, one week shy of a year, Jovoni is back in school for the first time in three years. A teen that is grateful for every new day of his new life.