Artur spent the first 31 days of his life in a coma until doctors diagnosed him with a rare genetic disease called Maple Syrup Urine Disease, which can lead to brain swelling, mental retardation, and death. Mom and Dad sold their home, truck, and most of their possessions to import the costly baby formula their son required, but Artur’s health continued to decline. In June 2005, Artur, then three, went to Pittsburgh with his parents and five-year-old brother, Vinicius, from Fortaleza, Brazil to undergo a lifesaving liver transplant at Children’s Hospital. Although the transplant was successful, Artur retained a large amount of fluid that ended up going to his brain. For the past several months, he has been recovering while trying to learn the skills of a healthy toddler — how to eat, talk, walk and play. Artur and his family have faced many hardships, but they only count their blessings.
Little Ricardo lived at the Ronald McDonald House for four months with his mother, Eudescilia, who is originally from Brazil. This 2 year-old received a liver and intestine transplant. Despite the circumstances, Ricardo and Eudescilia loved living at the Ronald McDonald House, where Ricardo played and learned to take his first steps! Mom and Son have returned to Connecticut, where Ricardo is reportedly doing very well.
Terrell & Tamico
Tamico was diagnosed with Sclerderma Crust Syndrome Pumunary Hypertention in 1999. Shortly thereafter, she and Mom, Rosalind, traveled from Detroit, Michigan to Pittsburgh to be evaluated for a double lung transplant. In July 2000, Tamico successfully underwent her transplant surgery and has been doing well since. Tamico, now 16, travels back to Pittsburgh with her mom and older brother, Terrell (18), every six months to monitor her progress. Terrell likes to stay at the House with his sister and mom because, “They treat you nice and always keep a smile on your face!”