Lainey Hall

Chronic Pancreatitis

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Lainey Hall's Bio

Lainey Hall is a lot like other 11-year-old girls. She watches The Hunger Games and Disney Channel shows. She gets excited to play with puppies. Her room is colorful and covered in peace signs. Lainey is not like other girls her age in a few ways though. She has lived in the hospital more than your average adult would see the inside of the hospital in their lifetime. She has only stepped into her school 4 months total in the last 2½ years and is now 1 year behind. Since the age of 5, Lainey has suffered from chronic pancreatitis. She is now 11 and the last 2½ years have been the worst yet.

She had been in and out of University of Maryland several times until an adult GI doctor was called in to review her case. He decided to go in and do an ERCP and found the duct to the pancreas was completely closed off. For the second time in a year, a stent was placed with a plan to increase the stent size every 6 weeks for 6 months to hopefully keep the duct open. Each time another bout of pancreatitis would occur. Lainey had reached the point where University of Maryland could do no more to help her, so her family looked to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. This is the number 2 hospital for pediatric pancreatitis, but CHOP was also unable to help Lainey and had no helpful information about what to do next to stop her pancreatitis flare-ups.

Lainey’s aunt had heard about Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. When the family called to the hospital for information, they were called back the same day and from that phone call the TP/AIT coordinator said Lainey had to come see the doctors in Minnesota, without even seeing her medical records. After 4 days of evaluation that included radiology studies, lab work, food testing, pain management, muscle strength testing, sweat testing and meetings with doctors, Lainey was deemed a candidate for a Total Pancreatecomy and Islet Autotransplantation (TP/AIT) and given a date of February 20, 2015. Lainey should not have been stented anymore. It would only give her temporary relief and cause scar tissue that would make her lose her validity as a candidate for the TP/AIT surgery, which was the only thing that would truly help her at this point.

To get ready for surgery Lainey had a GI tube placed in her stomach for feeding, got 6 vaccines, and an airway evaluation to make sure the breathing tubes she has from one of her ERCP’s are the right size. The 13 hour surgery, which took place last week, involved removing Lainey’s pancreas, having a pathologist remove the islet cells and placing them in her liver, removing her spleen and rerouting her duodenum so her stomach can properly function. Post-surgery, there were some complications including a bowel blockage, her G-tube (providing her nutrition) coming out, and additional procedures. However, she has been finally been moved out of the ICU. She will be in a regular unit for at least 2 months, where she will be on an insulin drip. Another month in Minnesota for regular monitoring, will follow that. She will be diabetic for at least a year; possibly for the rest of her life if not enough islet cells are accepted by her liver. She will also be in pain for about a year.

Checkups back at the University of Maryland and trips back to Minnesota will continue to be a part of Lainey’s life, but she remains a happy 11-year-old girl that dreams of finally making it to a Florida Georgia Line concert.