‘U Of M’ Helps Kid With Rare Condition Avoid Diabetes

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the United States, there are more than 25 million diabetics. So, the chance to keep more people from having to depend on insulin for the rest of their lives is worth trying — especially for children.

Now, a new procedure, pioneered by the University of Minnesota, is helping those who suffer from pancreatitis avoid diabetes in the future.

Ethan Warren, 11, is walking proof of the advances of medicine. For three years, he’s battled chronic pancreatitis, which is a severe inflammation of the pancreas that causes excruciating pain.

“It’s like someone punching you in the stomach as hard as they can, like someone from a wresting show punching you repeatedly,” said Warren.

Warren’s parents, Carrie Daniels and Jeff Warren say it has been difficult seeing their son have to give up sports and his favorite foods in an effort to diminish the pain. Plus, they know his pancreas, an organ key to our body’s energy system, was slowly destroying itself.

Severe malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies are just some of the risky consequences common for children with pancreatitis.

“If the pancreas were left in, there would be a 50 percent chance of cancer throughout their lifetime,” said Dr. Srinath Chinnakotla, a pediatric transplant surgeon.

So, at the University of Minnesota’s Amplatz Children’s Hospital, Warren’s pancreas was removed and his islet cells were saved, purified and reinserted into his liver.

Unlike similar islet cell transplants from donors, Warren will not need anti-rejection medications, because they are his own cells.

For one-third to two-thirds of patients, the pancreas’ insulin production resumes normally, keeping them from becoming diabetic.

“So, I am very confident he will not need insulin in the future,” said Chinnakotla.

Already feeling relief from his worst pain, Warren now has one simple hope.

“To be normal,” said Warren.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Misty Barnes says:

    Thanks to all the doctors, nurses, and staff out in Minnesota for helping our Ethan! He has many family members and friends back in Kentucky who are thrilled to know how well he is doing!

  2. Lauren Couch says:

    WOW i can’t believe you were on T.V. you did great!!!
    I have done the weather one time—– it only lasted 5 seconds
    You look GREAT!!!
    We LOVE YOU and I will make you another video 2morrow!! PROMISE!! 🙂

  3. Jennifer Martin says:

    I praise God for your healing, and for giving doctors, and nurses the knowledge and ability to perform such a miraculous procedure, You are such an awesome trooper!!! Way to go Ethan!!! You are a celebrity!!! We are all so very proud of you and can’t wait to see your smiling face back in the Bluegrass State!!! I can’t wait to tell everyone I know that you are on the NEWS!!! Love you!!!!

  4. jen says:

    I had the same procedure at 40 years ole… can’t imagine a little one going through all this. best wishes and good health. thanks dennis for doing a story I suggested last year.. nicely done.

  5. Bridget Baker says:

    Thanks for telling the story of this rare disease and sharing the success of this procedure on Ethan. We are very proud of his progress and very thankful that the LORD has allowed the knowledge of the researchers and hands of the doctors to perform this surgical procedure and save his life. We love Ethan in Kentucky and we are very excited to see his smiling face!! Thanks again for sharing this wonderful news with us.

    1. Debbie Knuckles says:

      Celebrating that Ethan’s health is being restored! Thanking God for His Amazing Grace!

  6. JENNIFER CARROLL says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS INTERVIEW WITH ETHAN. HE SUCH A SPECIAL LITTLE BOY TO US ALL. IT GAVE US A CHANCE TO SEE HIM AND HE LOOKS GREAT. GOD IS STILL PERFORMING MIRACLES AND HES LIVING PROOF. WE GAVE GOD THE PRAISE. I’VE SEEN HIM WHEN HE IS WAS IN PAIN AND SO SICK AND LIKE HE SAID NOW HE CAN BE NORMAL. PRAISE GOD. COME HOME QUICK YOUR OUR KENTUCKY HERO.

  7. Lego says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the information!

  8. beverage cooler says:

    Your style is so unique compared to other folks I have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this site.

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