Our son Maddux had jaundice as a baby, a liver condition that made his skin yellow. Jaundice usually goes away, but Maddux’s didn’t. When he was two months old, our pediatrician sent us to a specialist in Salem who found that his liver was enlarged.
The specialist sent us to OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Doctors there did all the tests required to diagnose a rare genetic condition called Alagille syndrome. Children with Alagille have liver abnormalities and other symptoms - Maddux also had a heart murmur.
Hearing my son had a life-threatening disease scared me, especially since he was my first child. I was overwhelmed, but I tried to be as strong as possible. The Doernbecher doctors and staff were so supportive. The facilities for families are great, and everyone tries to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
With the care from Doernbecher, Maddux did fine until he was almost two. Then we got more bad news. An echocardiogram showed one of his heart valves was almost completely blocked. Dr. Langley and Dr. Lavrsen did surgery to repair it. Before the surgery, Dr. Langley spoke to me directly, made sure I knew exactly what they would be doing and made me feel comfortable. He was also very friendly with Maddux, which helped.
Now you can’t even tell that Maddux had open-heart surgery recently. He still has liver problems, but the specialists at Doernbecher monitor his condition. I tell him exactly what’s going on and why we go to the doctor all the time. With all he’s been through, he still loves the doctor. That says a lot about Doernbecher.