Twins beat transplant problems

Talitha WolfeThe West Australian
Twins Luke and Jesse Wilson are back home in Albany.
Camera IconTwins Luke and Jesse Wilson are back home in Albany. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

The bright eyes and beaming smiles of Albany identical twins Luke and Jesse Wilson reveal little of the harrowing journey of the past year of their lives.

The eight-year-olds were born with Alagille syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that gave them chronic liver disease.

Suffering yellowing skin and debilitating lethargy, the boys were put on the transplant list after Luke broke his femur when he was six during a junior soccer match.

It was then Luke and Jesse’s mother, Kylie, knew their condition had deteriorated severely and the Wilsons packed up and moved to Perth.

Luke was the first to receive a liver transplant in June, but the organ failed within two weeks, placing him at the top of the Australian and New Zealand transplant list.

“He was so weak he couldn’t suck from a straw,” Mrs Wilson said. “You put a straw in his mouth and he would look at you like: ‘What do I do with this?’”

Twins Luke and Jesse Wilson had two successful liver transplants.
Camera IconTwins Luke and Jesse Wilson had two successful liver transplants. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

He received a life-changing organ four days later and spent nine weeks in the intensive care unit of a Sydney hospital. The family then flew back to Perth before receiving a call for Jesse.

Jesse’s first liver transplant also failed, but he received a second three days later.

“(Jesse’s) transplant instantly failed,” Mrs Wilson said.

“He had a kink in his hepatic artery which basically killed off the new liver in hours. To have to receive a transplant so soon after the first one is almost unheard of. At one stage, we couldn’t see that we were bringing either of them home.”

Now the boys are home with their father, Jason, and sisters Ellie and Willow, and Mrs Wilson said the future had never looked so bright.

“These boys are truly a modern-day miracle —they are a real testimony to the incredible doctors we have in this country,” she said.

“To be here today and to go through what we have been through, we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”

The boys will start school next week.

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