Maddox Lovett was born healthy, but within a few weeks of birth he was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a childhood disease of the liver. By the time Maddox was eight months old his liver was beginning to fail, and he needed a liver transplant. Miraculously, Maddox received a new liver, which was successfully transplanted at BC Children’s Hospital.
The time spent in the hospital took its toll on the Lovett family. “It was especially hard on Maddox’s older brother, who is now 10,” says Sarah Lovett, Maddox’s mother. “He was confused as to what was going on and seeing his younger brother hooked up to so many tubes scared him.” While this was an extremely difficult time for her family, she’d go through all the pain and struggle again to save her son.
“This experience has brought our family so much closer than ever before,” Sarah says. “And through this experience, I learned a tender piece of wisdom—always enjoy life and don’t complain about everything—life is short.”
Maddox shared some of the happy memories he cherishes from his many times in the hospital. His favorite memory was when his mom, grandma and grandpa would stay the night in the hospital room with him. Maddox is also very proud of his Detroit Red Wings jersey signed by players Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi that he received as a gift from a family friend.
As all transplant families know from experience, the life saving gift of a transplant carries with it challenges that are different than most children experience. Some of these challenges include side effects of medications and complications including infection and rejection. For Maddox, his immunosuppression medication, which helps prevent rejection, makes getting over a flu or cold much more difficult.
Maddox is now eight years old, and loves playing sports—soccer, hockey and baseball. He has received three gold medals in hockey, as well as many soccer awards. His health is stable, and he seems inspired to grow up helping others. He says he wants to be firefighter, a policeman or a doctor.
Story by Jarod Foster