Fifteen Organs For Two Young Siblings
Just five years after transplant surgeons saved the life of a Texas infant at Holtz Children’s Hospital, a
rare congenital disease brought the family back to South Florida. This time it was to save the life of their
During an ultrasound while just six weeks pregnant, Julissa Cerda received devastating news about the
embryo she was carrying. It sounded all too familiar.
Her doctors in Texas confirmed her worst fears; her unborn son also developed megacystis microcolon
intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome (MMIHS) – a rare prenatal condition involving a dilated urinary
bladder, which causes massive abdominal distension, microcolon, and decreased or absent intestinal
function. The condition is usually fatal within the first year of a child’s life. It affects just one in 1
Julissa was determined to have Liam treated at Holtz Children’s where transplant surgeons had saved
her daughter’s life. In 2011, her daughter Delilah was diagnosed with the same condition and received a
new stomach, pancreas, liver, large and small bowel, spleen and kidney – a seven-organ transplant that
made headlines around the world.
In February 2016, Liam successfully underwent a nine-hour transplant surgery, receiving eight new
organs: a liver, stomach, large and small bowel, pancreas, two kidneys, and bladder.
Combined, the two young siblings received 15 organs.
Oct. 2015 Jackson History
Middle School Assistant Principal Receives New Heart. Link opens story page.
After years of battling cardiomyopathy, Erika Carter-Rolle finally received a lifesaving heart transplant.Explore in story page.
Oct. 2010 Medical Firsts
Tennis-Ball-Sized Tumor Removed While Still in the Womb. Link opens story page.
In 2010, a tennis-ball-sized tumor was removed while the patient was still in the womb.Explore in story page.
Jul. 2008 Medical Firsts
Child Lives Without Heart For 118 Days. Link opens story page.
After her first heart transplant failed within a day, 14-year-old D’Zhana Simmons lived 118 days with a custom-built artificial heart.Explore in story page.