As teenagers, most of us have few worries, are focused on enjoying life, and are brimming with excitement for what the future holds. However, this is not the case for everyone as Sayon Thill discovered at the young age of only 13. During a battle with a relentless cough so severe that it induced vomiting and after the pressing of Thill’s mother, detailed blood tests showed that Thill suffered from ulcerative colitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis. These conditions were causing inflammation and scarring in the bile duct, colon and large intestine and ultimately resulted in critical liver damage. Though facing such a struggle as an adolescent, the Thill family stayed positive and placed Sayon on the liver transplant list.
In 2006, when Thill turned 16, he received a complete liver transplant. Throughout his lengthy recovery muddled with multiple infection and rejection complications, Thill’s family and friends remained an amazing support system. Thill lived the most normal teenage life he could, attending school whenever he felt well enough and enjoying frequent get-togethers with close family friends who were also there at a moment’s notice whenever Thill or his parents needed them.
Once Thill turned 18 in 2008, he had to find a new doctor as his former pediatric doctors could no longer treat him. As luck would have it, a recent addition to their circle of friends, Dr. Parvez Mantry of The Liver Institute in Dallas, was able to step in as Thill’s physician. Dr. Mantry, Medical Director of The Liver Institute Research Program, is board certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and transplant hepatology. “Dr. Mantry is the best doctor I’ve ever had,” said Sayon. “He cares about every little thing; he is always approachable and available when I need him.”
At this point, it was discovered that Thill’s liver had again sustained considerable damage, creating the need for yet another liver transplant. With this second transplant and the support of his family, Thill would have hopes of living a normal, healthy life. In April 2015, Thill was placed on the transplant list. “I expected to wait longer this time because children receive organs much faster than adults do,” he said. However, only three months later, Thill received a call while at dinner with his girlfriend. His new liver was available!
On July 5th, Executive Medical Director of Organ Transplantation at The Liver Institute, Dr. Alejandro Mejia, performed Thill’s successful liver transplant. Thill describes Dr. Mejia as being a wonderful surgeon with a great bedside manner, adding to his positive experience with Dr. Mantry’s services as well. After only three months, Thill says, “I feel normal and good. I have had no serious complications, and I am recovering quickly.” Next year, he will resume studying at SMU to purse his degree in hospital administration.
Read Sayon Thill’s full story in the October 2015 issue of Living Magazine and visit our news section to find more of The Liver Institute’s success stories.
Save a life by registering at DonateLifeTexas.org to be an organ donor! Currently in the U.S., hundreds of thousands of people are patiently awaiting an organ transplant and another is added to the waiting list every 12 minutes. Filling out the organ donor card with your driver’s license renewal is not enough; Be sure to discuss your wishes with your family as well!