December 13, 2015
Maximus’ mom, Kellen, describes him as “the sweetest little baby. He is fun and always wanting to play and be a jokester.” She says he is too smart and is starting to “get his bearings on being a big boy.” Kellen says Maximus appeared to be fine when he was born. One week after Maximus was born Kellen went home to be with her other son. A week later, she got a call from the hospital informing her that Maximus would have to have immediate surgery. When Kellen got to the hospital she says Maximus was swollen “like a football” due to an infection he had contracted at the hospital.
The infection resulted in 90% of his small intestine being removed. Maximus was put on TPN (total parenteral nutrition) to nourish his body; however, this resulted in liver problems. He has had many surgeries since then. Due to necrotizing enterocolitis, he now has short bowel (or short gut) syndrome. The hospital back home told Kellen that Maximus would not live and suggested palliative care. Kellen refused to give up. After finding out UNMC has the best bowel transplant center in the country, she reached out to the hospital to get a transplant evaluation.
She and Maximus have now been going back and forth from the hospital to the House for four months. Kellen says the House provides her with everything she needs to take care of her son. She is thankful that she does not have to sleep on a hospital couch and says “the beds here are really nice.” Kellen says it is a blessing having her own shower, food, laundry facilities, play area for the kids, a place to relax and watch TV and a med fridge for Maximus’ medication. Kellen is also very thankful for the families and businesses that come in the evenings and bring dinner for all the families staying at the House.
Kellen says she is “super appreciative of this place and how it has helped my child and I.” Today, Maximus is getting better. She says he is “getting fat and chubby and I love it!” Kellen does not know when she and Maximus get to go home, but she keeps her “eye on the prize” of getting him healthy.