“He was just a little bit yellow the first day, and two days later it was pretty significant,” Baire said. “It’s very uncommon to see 4-year-old turn yellow.”
The change happened rapidly, and the doctors suspected a viral infection.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: “Viral infections are hard to treat because viruses live inside your body's cells. They are protected from medicines, which usually move through your bloodstream. Antibiotics do not work for viral infections.”
An ultrasound showed blood was going through the liver, but the organ was already dead.
“Josh was slipping so quick,” Jennifer said.
During Joshua’s illness, the Fullers were away from home for two months and lodged at a special house for family members near the Pittsburgh hospital. Joshua’s grandmother stayed at home and watched Nathan.
Joshua came home on April 20. “He’s back to his own self,” Jennifer said. “His levels are perfect. We call him Sponge Bob.”
James works at Associated Brands in Medina. Their baby is due in October.
Joshua will be seen in the Pittsburgh clinic about once a month. According to Soltys, Josh will be monitored for a lifetime.
Soltys estimated that he has done about 250 transplants in five years. That’s one a week.
The doctors keep in touch with the patients and exchange photographs and cards.
“We all know the kids. We see the kids,” Soltys said. “The acute kids, we’re really close to them.”