Transplant tot Ryan Devereux, 11 months, with his big sister Nadia, 3, at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, where he is recovering after his lifesaving operation.
Transplant tot Ryan Devereux, 11 months, with his big sister Nadia, 3, at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, where he is recovering after his lifesaving operation.

11-month-old Ryan survives 10-hour surgery, blows kisses

IT wasn't long after baby Ryan Devereux's liver transplant that he was up and about, smiling and blowing his trademark kisses again.

The 11-month-old from Forest Lake endured a mammoth 10-hour surgery that will hopefully save his life.

It was the best start to the year his parents Stuart Devereux and Bobby-Rae Cole could have hoped for.

Ryan was only eight weeks old when he was diagnosed with the rare disease biliary atresia, that destroys the bile ducts.

He had been on the transplant waiting list since October and, after one false start late last year, is on track to make a full recovery.

Ms Cole said getting the second call from the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital to say they had a possible donor for Ryan gave the young family "the same feelings all over again".

Ryan Devereux, 11 months, in his hospital bed at Lady Cilento.
Ryan Devereux, 11 months, in his hospital bed at Lady Cilento.

"It was scary ... the surgery lasted 10 hours, it was insane," she said. "It felt like we were in the waiting room for a good week."

After three nights in intensive care, Ryan was moved to a ward where he is expected to stay for the next fortnight and be home just in time to celebrate his first birthday in late January.

"He is doing great. He is chatting and kissing now and can roll over and pull himself up," Ms Cole said.

"The doctors are stoked with his progress. He's just doing so good."

Ryan's big sister, Nadia, 3, is coping well with the extended hospital stay and enjoying the extra time she's getting to spend with grandma, who came over from Darwin to help out.

Ms Cole said the family hoped one day they would be able to meet the family of Ryan's donor to thank them.

"We are just so grateful to that person for taking the time out to register as a donor, it means everything to us," she said.

To register as an organ donor visit donatelife.gov.au.

"It is just the best gift you can give someone," Ms Cole said.


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