Fredericksburg | DONNA VICKROY/Chicago Tribune
|Christina Whitehead kisses her son Nathan at their home in Mokena, Ill. Nathan had a liver transplant on Aug. 3rd, and had just returned home for the first time since June.|
LITTLE NATHAN IS BACK HOME AFTER RECEIVING A NEW LIVER IN ‘A ROLLER COASTER’ JOURNEY
MOKENA, Ill.—Like a champ, Nathan Whitehead smiled brightly as he re-entered his Mokena home for the first time since June.
Then, like a 6-month-old, he burst into tears.
“He’s hungry,” said his mom, Christina Whitehead.
Tears of hunger from their son are a welcome sign for Whitehead and her husband, Rob, who watched their newborn inch too close to death’s door in recent months.
“It’s been a roller coaster. An emotional drain every day not knowing what’s going to happen next or what they’re (doctors) gonna say,” Christina Whitehead said. “We’re so happy to have him home.”
And then, just like babies are known to do, Nathan caught his mother’s glance, stuck out his tongue and smiled ear to ear, kicking his blue and white Velcro Nikes furiously.
Nathan was born March 2 with a rare and aggressive liver disease. Though doctors at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago still don’t know exactly what caused the scarring, or cirrhosis, that threatened to shut his body down, they did know that his only hope for survival was a liver transplant. Continue reading