Rowan Sebek, to most people who meet her, is a typical 10-year-old — maybe even a little busier than some.

But the Temple resident has come a long way from a first year that saw her spend most of it in a hospital.

“Because of my liver transplant, I’m on the swim team and in a running club,” Rowan says on the website www.organ.org/national-donor-day-2021 presenting several people who were able to get transplants.

“We were completely blindsided,” Rowan’s mom, Megan Sebek, said of the medical issues after her first baby’s birth in June 2010. She and her husband, Chant, are both nurses.

“She had some difficulties breathing and was sent to the NICU for oxygen, but while there had some lab work which showed problems with her liver. Several weeks passed and it was determined that she most likely had biliary atresia and was scheduled in August for a Kasai procedure.” Megan said.

The Kasai procedure confirmed she had biliary atresia, the website reported. However, the surgery was not successful in making any meaningful changes to her liver.

After that, Megan said, troubles snowballed with one thing after another. She recalled right around Valentine’s Day Rowan got out of the hospital, but she returned and spent her first birthday in the hospital.

Rowan became sicker during this time, requiring tube feeding, TPN, PICC lines and multiple medications. She was evaluated for a liver transplant at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. She became so ill, she had to stay in the hospital until her gift arrived.

Rowan was transplanted on Nov. 29, 2010.

Jump forward a few years and Rowan earned a second-place finish in the Transplant Olympics as an 8-year-old in the 25-meter freestyle.

Her favorite now is the 50-meter freestyle, she said, because it “makes me feel like I’m free.”

On her current activities, Rowan said not all of her teammates and friends are aware she’s a transplant recipient.

“Some of them know, but not all of them,” she said, adding that a couple of her friends know.

“No one would even guess that’s she’s different than any other child,” Megan said.

Rowan has to take her medication twice a day, plus she’s not allowed to play football. But she says her doctor encourages her to “go out and be me.”

She does, leading a very active life. Rowan is involved with theater, volleyball, swimming and running, the website reported. She gets lab work completed every quarter, but she does not let that slow her down.

So Rowan has a message for “All the people who have transplants — you can do things, too. Don’t let anybody tell you what you can’t do.”

She also wanted to say thank you to organ donors. “If there’s an organ donor … that means so much,” she said.

Megan said her family was “really passionate about organ donation.”

“We are so incredibly grateful for our donor and wish we could meet to share the wonderful life Rowan has been able to have due to the gift of organ donation,” Megan said on the website.

Transplant News Sharing // “Liver Transplants” – Google News from Source www.tdtnews.com

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