STANFORD, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Currently, more than 100,000 people in the U.S. are in need of an organ transplant. While it’s considered lucky to be matched once - we’re about to meet a young man who received three organs at three different times in his life.
Nineteen-year-old Joseph “Joe Joe” Sanchez Munoz lights up whenever he plays his guitar. He wrote a special song telling how he survived three organ transplants.
Joe Joe expresses, “Music was my medicine and it got me through.”
Joe Joe was born with multicystic dysplastic kidney disease, meaning his kidneys were severely underdeveloped. A devastating diagnosis in itself, but shortly afterward his mom, Elena was told that Joe Joe also had liver cancer.
“My whole world was shattered ‘cause I didn’t know what to expect,” Elena painfully recalls.
At just 10 months old, Joe Joe received a liver transplant. Subsequent chemotherapy affected his kidneys and while Joe Joe ultimately received a new kidney, he continued to defy the slim odds and was healthy until this past year. This time, his heart was in jeopardy - a result of being immunocompromised.
Pediatric Advanced Cardiac Therapies Program doctor at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, Michael Ma, MD says, “Most programs would say that the risk is too high and not offer this much therapy to allow a young child to survive.”
And so, Dr. Ma and his team of cardiologists worked alongside liver and kidney specialists to a map out a plan to save Joe Joe’s life.
“They allowed him to have a third miracle of life,” Elena expresses.
Dr. Ma explains, “He is now in remission from heart, liver, and kidney disease, and is doing really well.”
“Thank you so much for helping me,” Joe Joe says to Stanford.
Joe Joe is so appreciative of the care he received through the years at Stanford that he wants to pay it forward - he’s now considering entering the nursing field, like his mom.
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