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Logan Thomas' Story

Logan Thomas did not have a normal start to life. However, looking at the vibrant three-year-old today, you would never know of her early struggles. After birth, Logan was diagnosed with Hirschprung's disease. Hirschsprung's affects the nerve cells in the large intestine and causes the bowel to work improperly. The disease occurs in only one out of 5,000 births.

"I knew something was immediately wrong," said Rebecca Thomas, Logan's mother. "Logan would not eat well and was also throwing up bile."

Logan spent her first two years of life in and out of a hospital in Florida. She had many tests and surgeries to correct her diseased bowel. Her condition also required that she be fed 24/7 via a gastrostomy tube and a second central line for Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN). TPN is a fluid mixture that can include a combination of sugar and carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, electrolytes and trace elements. Because TPN bypasses the stomach and liver, dependence upon it for a prolonged period of time can lead to liver damage or failure.

"I finally had had enough, Rebecca said." I was not getting the answers I wanted for my daughter and I knew that something else had to be done." Through research online, Rebecca discovered Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, Neb. and its nationally recognized Intestinal Transplant Program.

"I finally felt hope," Rebecca said. "I knew we had to go to Omaha."

On March 25, 2007, Logan and her family arrived at Nebraska Medicine for an evaluation. After two weeks there, Logan was listed for a small bowel transplant. "The transplant team at Nebraska Medicine went above and beyond," Rebecca explained. "When we left to return to Florida, I really felt that Nebraska Medicine would help Logan and that we had found the right place."

In Florida, the Thomas family waited for the call that organs were available for Logan. On April 4, that call came.

"It was midnight on my birthday," Rebecca said. "We said 'this is it.' We were excited, stressed and nervous all at once."

However, Logan was not able to make the trip from Florida to Nebraska for the transplant because of her health. An infection required she be admitted into a hospital in Florida. The same scenario played out two weeks later when organs became available again and, once again, Logan wasn't well enough to travel.

Rebecca Thomas had had enough. She decided to move the whole family to Nebraska and wait in Omaha for Logan's transplant. After arriving in Omaha, they didn't have to wait long for another call that would change Logan's life forever.

The transplant lasted four-and-a-half hours. After the surgery, Rebecca shared on Logan's CaringBridge webpage, "The transplant went better than anyone could have imagined."

"She just looked like a different child," Rebecca said. "Plus, she was finally able to get off of TPN."

The Thomas family decided to permanently relocate to Nebraska to be close to Nebraska Medicine.

"Logan is just so comfortable with the medical staff," Rebecca said. "And the staff treats me with respect and compassion and values my opinions. It was best for us to stay near this excellent care. You just don't find a better transplant team anywhere else."

Rebecca said they have had their ups and downs since surgery. However, they celebrate every day as a true gift.

"I am so glad we came to Omaha," Rebecca said. "If we had not sought out care at Nebraska Medicine, I don't know if Logan would be alive. I couldn't have asked for a better hospital or a better transplant team."

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