Teamwork makes the dream work
Today, Brendan said he’s living a “normal” life, focusing on college at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and staying healthy. But he knows he wouldn’t be where he is without his family, his donor and his Children’s Mercy Liver Care Center team.
“I don’t know anything about my donor, but I think about them all the time,” Brendan said. “I’m planning to get the date of my transplant tattooed on my forearm—nothing too flashy—but I want people to ask me about it. That’s the best way I can honor my donor.”
Stacy and Jason added that the Liver Care Center team has been with them almost since Brendan was born. “We were treated like family at Children’s Mercy. They were honest with us. They were always welcoming, inclusive and considerate. They have a world-class program. We can’t say enough good things about them,” Jason said.
“There was never a doubt in our minds that the team truly wanted to do what was best for Brendan,” Stacy added.
In fact, Brendan’s grandparents, Montie and Marjorie Tripp, were so grateful for the expert and compassionate care the team provided their grandson, they gave a generous gift to support the Children’s Mercy transplant program, which was re-named the Brendan Tripp Elam Transplant Center.
“We are a grateful family, and we want the Children’s Mercy team to be able to continue the quality of transplantation work happening at this special hospital,” the Tripps said. “We give to Children’s Mercy to help a program that has meant the world to our family. It is our hope that this gift will in some way help other families for many years to come.”
Dr. Daniel said the Tripp’s gift has helped Children’s Mercy build a liver transplant team known for providing highly personalized care.
“Our program really is a team effort. The coordinators and nurse practitioners like Angela really play an important part in the success we have with our patients. It’s not just me or the surgeon, it’s a remarkable group of people who work together throughout this complex process. We’re very fortunate to have such an excellent team.”
Angela has been a key member of Brendan’s transplant team. “I have a folder full of pictures of him from the time he was a baby to his high school graduation. You walk with these families during the most stressful, scariest times of their lives. We’ve become almost like family. It’s so awesome to see him going off to college and getting ready to transition to adult care.”
Brendan agreed. “I’ve known Angela since I was a baby and Megan Faseler, my transplant coordinator, since I had my transplant. All my liver doctors, Dr. Daniel and Ryan Fischer, MD, are very important to me. They’re amazing people!
“My experience at Children’s Mercy was incredible. My relationships with the people there are amazing. They quite literally saved my life. I’ll always remember them and will stay in contact with them.”
“You hate to have your child go through something like this,” Stacy said. “But if he or she does, you want it to be in a place with caring people who do their best to help in whatever way possible. In our experience, Children’s Mercy is that kind of place.”