Friday, January 18, 2019

Baby Survivor Turns 1

UMMC issued the following press release.

Gabrielle Smith looks, smiles and plays like a strong, healthy year-old baby, but that wasn’t always the case.

The youngest patient ever to undergo a heart transplant at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Gabbi celebrated her first birthday Dec. 26, due in no small part to the love and dedication of her great aunt, Cindy Thompson of Bassfield.

While awaiting a new heart, Gabbi stayed in her patient room in Batson Children’s Hospital. Her family split their time between Jackson and their home in Bassfield.

On the night of March 3, 2018, Gabbi’s parents, Latoyia and Carlos Smith, and 1-year-old sister Ivory, were spending the night at their home when tragedy struck. A fire consumed the house, killing all of its occupants. Because she was away from home as a hospital patient, Gabbi and her adult sister, Jada, who is in the military and was spending the night with Thompson, were the only surviving family members.

“It was awful,” Thompson said, “losing them all on the same day. We have a close family.”

The family, Thompson said, was worried over Gabbi’s condition, “but she gave us hope, too.”

The demands of follow-up care following a heart transplant are such that doctors had to be certain that Gabbi had a caregiver willing to take on those responsibilities, said Dr. Avichal Aggarwal, Gabbi’s pediatric cardiologist at the Children’s Heart Center at Batson Children’s Hospital and medical director of UMMC’s pediatric heart transplant program.

“Some of her medications have to be given every four hours around the clock,” Aggarwal said. “Missing a dose, for these patients, could be life-threatening.”

Thompson knew what she had to do.

“I didn’t think about it,” said Thompson, 53, of the decision to become Gabbi’s guardian. “I just did it because it needed to be done.”

Born with an extraordinarily small right ventricle and abnormal coronary arteries, Gabbi’s congenital heart condition left her with a high risk of sudden death, Aggarwal said.

Shortly after her birth, Gabbi underwent surgery aimed at stabilizing her condition, said Dr. Brian Kogon, chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery at Batson Children’s Hospital, but the risk of sudden death remained.

“After surgery, she remained on the heart-lung machine for several days after. Ultimately, she recovered, but she needed a new heart,” said Kogon, “and she was added to the national transplant waiting list.”

A requirement for receiving a heart transplant, said Kogon, is to have a stable support system for the care needs that will follow. Thompson, who has no biological children, stepped forward to raise her great niece, paving the way for Gabbi to receive the heart that became available to her not long after. She got a new heart March 27, 2018.

“The transplant went well and was without major complications,” Kogon said. “Her hospital stay was prolonged, only because of her young age, small size and her being so sick and debilitated at the time of transplant.”

Children with congenital heart disease can become weakened over time due to their condition.

Thompson, said Kogon, “is doing a wonderful job. Gabbi looks terrific!”

Gabbi’s heart transplant in 2018 followed four pediatric heart transplants performed at Batson in 2017. Among those patients was Jharad Faust of Meadville, who was a few days older than Gabbi when she received her life-saving heart.

Gabbi was slightly younger than Jharad when she had her heart transplant, making her the Medical Center’s youngest heart recipient at 3 months and a day.

The five children who had heart transplants at Batson Children’s Hospital since 2017 are all in good condition, Kogon said.

“Offering a pediatric heart transplant program in Mississippi provides the complex care some children need to survive,” said Dr. William Moskowitz, chief of Pediatric Cardiology at UMMC. “Providing world-class cardiac critical care close to home is part of our mission at Batson Children’s Hospital and Children’s of Mississippi.”

The Children’s Heart Center at UMMC, in fall 2020, will be getting a new home. A seven-story pediatric expansion now under construction will include additional space for surgery, pediatric and neonatal critical care and imaging as well as clinic space for specialty care, including pediatric cardiology.

According to the registry of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, about 500 to 600 pediatric heart transplants are performed each year, representing about 12 percent of the total number of heart transplants.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every 7,700 babies born in the United States each year are born with pulmonary atresia, Gabbi’s congenital condition. About one in 100 babies is born with congenital heart disease.

Since her transplant, Gabbi has been growing stronger. Fond of bright colors and musical toys, she is no longer using an oxygen tank, giving her more freedom to play, Aggarwal said. “She was on oxygen for more than six months after surgery.”

Gabbi’s next medical challenge, he said, is in swallowing. Because of her condition at birth, she required a feeding tube to get adequate nutrition. She will soon undergo tests of her swallowing ability, with the goal of one day having the feeding tube removed.

“We have high hopes for Gabbi,” said Aggarwal. “She’s doing very well, and much of that is because of the care she is getting at home.”

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS