Giovanni Atherton – (22 months) Liver Transplant Recipient, Toronto, ON
Giovanni was born with Ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, a rare X-linked genetic disorder characterized by complete or partial lack of the enzyme Ornithine transcarbamylase. OTC is one of six enzymes that play a role in the break down and removal of nitrogen in the body, a process known as the urea cycle. At the tender age of two-months Giovanni was placed on the liver transplant wait list at Toronto SickKids Hospital. Gisselle, Giovanni’s mom, was tested as a potential donor, but was unable to donate a portion of her liver due to the same metabolic disorder. The nights that Giovanni’s parents were unable to stay at the hospital the family commuted up to two hours to see their son daily. On October 16, 2015 after a four month-long wait, Giovanni received the gift of life from an anonymous living donor. The David Foster Foundation provided the family funding for transportation expenses and meals so they could remain by their son’s side during transplant and recovery.