ack Matheson was born with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency,
an inherited disease affecting the liver. With this condition,
the alpha-1 antitrypsin that Jack's body produces is
abnormal with no protective activity and with insufficient amounts
released from the liver. This means the trypsin in the body not
only breaks down proteins in foods, but also attacks various body
tissues. As a result, Jack's liver and spleen were both enlarged.
Our family paid regular visits to the hospital in Edmonton,
each trip revealing signs Jack's liver was deteriorating. He was
eventually put on the liver transplant list.
In February 2018, our family received a phone call from the
nursing staff at Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton that
forever changed our lives. We were informed that an anonymous
donor had come forward as a positive match for Jack and that his
liver transplant would be scheduled for July. Without hesitation
we accepted this generous gift and began to prepare for the
summer ahead.
It takes approximately 100 donations of blood to complete a
liver transplant. This type of transplant requires a blood match,
not a tissue match. The liver can be donated by a live donor or
a cadaverous donor. The liver regenerates in both the live donor
and the recipient.
On July 15, our whole family flew to Edmonton to be together
for Jack's transplant journey, not knowing how long we would be
staying. On July 20, Jack received a lifesaving liver transplant. He
went into the hospital with such a positive attitude, ready to lose
his "special tummy" and gain a healthy liver. We were blessed to
receive incredible care from the nursing staff at Stollery Children's
Hospital, from our first two weeks in the ICU, to the ICE room
and then in the general children's ward. The level of care and
support our family experienced was truly exceptional and we will
always be grateful to the medical staff. Jack went into the surgery
relatively healthy considering what was going on internally.
The doctors and nurses were amazed at how quickly he was
recovering from such an intense surgery.
During Jack's recovery, we were lucky to stay at the
Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta. Once again, the
support and love we felt while living in the house can never fully
be described. We had deliciously cooked meals from local families
and businesses, recreation time for both Jack and Sam from
various volunteers and opportunities to visit different places
around Edmonton through their shuttle program. Staying in a
house like RMH and meeting families with children who have
various medical challenges puts what is really important into
perspective. Our family felt so much love from our friends, our
family members and people we never met before. We will always
look for ways to pay that kindness forward throughout our lives.



Original article from the September 2016 issue of
BSIA News Magazine. Jack's father Scott works
for BSIA member Southridge Building Supplies
in Surrey, B.C. Jack is also is the grandson of
BSIA's Jackie Trafton.

Scott, Stephanie, Sam and Jack Matheson.

Jack celebrating Christmas 2018 at home.


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BUILDING SUPPLY INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION - Spring 2019