Brandon Brewer loses battle with terminal illness

Brande Brewer poses with her son Brandon Brewer, then 16. He battled Hirschsprung's disease, a rare genetic disorder that left his body unable to process food. (Photo: DNJ file)

SMYRNA — Local transplant patient Brandon Brewer has died after battling a lifelong genetic disorder.

Brewer, 24, died at Tuesday night at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh after an extended bout with infection.

“I was able to hear 'I love you' for the very last time,” said his mother, Brande Brewer, who was able to be at her son’s side during his last breaths. “I kissed him one last time.”

Brandon Brewer first captured the hearts of the local community 20 years ago with his blonde curls and vivacious spirit. Despite the tubes, shots and inability to eat solid food, the preschooler remained in highest spirits.

“He was my boy angel,” Brande Brewer said.

Brandon was born with Hirschsprung's disease, a condition that prevented his body from absorbing nutrients from food. He spent his first years on a feeding tube, which, while keeping him alive, was destroying his liver.

Brandon received a small bowel transplant at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1996, but rejected that organ and had it removed in 2007. He underwent a second transplant surgery for small and large bowels in 2008.

His life was spent in and out of hospitals battling infections and then rejections. Time after time, the community would rally around the family to help with medical bills and transportation to keep his mother by his side during these trials. Continue reading
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