Espanola boy celebrates 2 years since multiple-organ transplant surgery

Updated: 07/08/2014 8:31 AM | Created: 07/08/2014 8:27 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

An Española family hopes to build a special play place to celebrate two years since their son received three organs in a lifesaving transplant surgery.

Marcos Vigil was born on Sept. 20, 2011 with Gastroschisis, a rare disease that causes the intestines to develop outside the body. Marcos' mother, Vanessa Tapia, says her son spent the first several months of his life fighting to survive in three different hospitals.

Finally on July 8, 2012, Marcos received a multi-visceral transplant of a small bowel, liver and pancreas.

"We received the call that organs were available, and within a moment's notice, we were on a jet to Omaha nearly 1,000 miles away," Tapia wrote to KOB. "We were in shock, terrified, relieved and heartbroken. In shock because we were emotionally unprepared. Was this really happening? Terrified of the unknown possibilities, and the undeniable risks."

But Tapia says Marcos' life since his transplant, though joyful, has not been without struggle and complications. He is immunosuppressed and simple colds and viruses have put him in the hospital for weeks at a time.

The boy was airlifted from UNM Hospital to the University of Nebraska Medical Center after falling ill on June 5.

Despite all the setbacks, Tapia says her son is a fighter.

"Marcos continues to live with the utmost resilience, strength, and happiness. Not only is he constantly smiling, he infects those around him with his giggles," Tapia wrote. "I could not fathom what life would be like without my little soldier."

Tapia's family is attempting to raise $6,000 to build a play place just for Marcos and to assist with financial hardship. Marcos loves to play outdoors, but each park visit could mean a new trip to the hospital.

To learn how you can help, visit the family's online fundraising website.

Marcos Vigil received three organs in a multi-visceral transplant on July 8, 2012.
Marcos and his mother
Marcos and his dad

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