Neenah baby improves after transplant

The Post Crescent | Rory Linnane

Mindi and Mark Piasecki relax with their daughter, Tess, who recently received a thymus transplant that strengthened her immune system. (Photo: Photo courtesy Mindi Piasecki)

When Neenah residents Mark and Mindi Piasecki met their adopted daughter Tess as an infant last year, they were told she might not survive a year due to an immune deficiency. Now they are preparing to celebrate her first birthday with a purple butterfly cake Aug. 5.

The Post-Crescent featured the Piasecki family in January, when the family was hoping a thymus transplant would boost Tess’ immune system. Since then, Tess had a successful thymus transplant at Duke University Hospital in North Carolina and is waiting near there in isolation with Mindi for permission to enter the outside world and head back home to Neenah.

As Mindi spoke on the phone from the condo in North Carolina where she and Tess have been sequestered for months, the baby babbled incessantly in the background.

"Do you hear that?" Mindi laughed. "She’s a little talkative. She has made so much progress. The doctors said she may not live out a year. They were wrong. She’s doing tremendously."

A successful transplant

Although Tess’ transplant May 22 was fairly routine, the road to get there was anything but routine. It was the result of an anomalous collision of three families. Continue reading