Haslett Baby Battling Rare Bowel Disease

By: Josh Sidorowicz Email
By: Josh Sidorowicz Email

One Haslett family is preparing for an early Christmas gift.

The Lathrop family has been torn ever since their twin boys were born in August, splitting time between Ann Arbor and Haslett.

While both twins were born premature, Dominic was born with an extremely rare bowel disease called Hirschsprung's Disease, which has rendered nearly 90 percent of his bowel non-functional and has kept him under the constant care of doctors at the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor.

The form of the disease Dominic has--long-segment intestinal--is so rare, it's the first of its kind for doctors in Ann Arbor, said Alison Lathrop, Dominic's mother.

"The doctors don't always have the answers and a lot of times we just have to wait and see," she said. "And the waiting is the hardest part."

But after months of driving back and forth to Ann Arbor every other day for visits, part of the wait might finally be over.

"Funny how it worked out but the fact that it worked out that way," said Andrew Lathrop, Dominic's father. "We're definitely very grateful and blessed."

Doctors say Baby Dominic can now come home, but once he's home the Lathrop's will face a new set of challenges having to continue the care for him.

"Figuring out what's normal for him and the logistics of having four kids, having another baby that's the same age whose also high demand," Alison said.

Baby Dominic's battle is far from over, but once he returns home he'll be surrounded by a community that has already rallied behind him with a Facebook page 'Prayers for Sweet Dominic' garnering more than 1,600 likes. It has even spurred fundraisers organized by others in the community to help pay for Dominic's mounting medical bills.

"We're certainly grateful for all the comments and support that we've gotten and it's been surreal," Andrew said.

Alison said the next step is to get Dominic to Boston where he can take part in a study to receive further treatment for the disease.

A small bowel transplant is also still a possibility but Andrew and Alison are still weighing the option because survival rates are low while risks and the possibility of complications remains high.

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