2-year-old needs ‘gift’ of a new liver

THE WICHITA EAGLE | Katherine Burgess


EL DORADO - Kristi Jantz calls her son “a blessed baby” because of all the people praying for him.

Eli Jantz is a lot like other 2-year-old boys: He loves the outdoors, enjoys being the youngest of four and will sing and dance to the beat of any music he hears.

But there are days when Eli only wants to lie on the couch. The other morning, he “just broke my heart,” Kristi said, when he walked around the deck three times, then came back to her saying, “Mommy hold you,” his phrase for when he wants to be picked up and held.

Eli rested his head on Kristi’s shoulder, worn out after those three trips around the deck.

“He probably doesn’t know what it’s like to feel good. He’s been sick his entire life,” Kristi said. “It’s just a day-by-day battle. One day at a time you focus on the joys and beauties and sicknesses of today and you don’t think about tomorrow, ’cause tomorrow will come soon enough.”

As a baby, Eli was diagnosed with idiopathic neonatal hepatitis – meaning doctors didn’t know the cause of injury to his liver. That has rapidly progressed into pediatric end stage liver disease. Continue reading


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