Detroit Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital have performed the first intestine transplant in Michigan.
The recipient,Brent Patterson, under went the 11-hour surgery on Aug. 21 and 22.
Patterson survived a kidney transplant five years ago and had been waiting for an intestinal transplant since April, after Crohn's disease had caused damage to his bowel,stomach and pancreas.
He had previously been through six surgeries to try to fix the damage.
Patterson said he can't express the amount of gratitude he feels for the donor and their family.
Watch: 1st Intestine Transplant Performed In Michigan
Henry Ford Hospital transplant surgeon Dr. Marwan Kazimi compared the surgery to piecing together an elaborate puzzle. "Prior to learning how to do this, I had never seen any operation in the abdomen quite this complex," Kazimi said.
Patterson said after years of being in and out of hospitals, being forced to sleep upright in a chair and living on intravenous nutrition, he's looking forward to the little things.
"I hope that I can sleep in a bed again, just little things like that ... be able to get a good night's sleep," he said.
He also said he'd like to take his wife to Florida to see the Daytona 500.
Patterson's wife of 29 years said she is also very grateful to the donor and doctors.
"Once the spring comes and he's feeling better, he gets his strength up, then I'll let him loose," she said.
Patterson's doctors said he has months of recovery ahead of him.
September 22, 2010