Dalton Robinson has been through a lot. In 2009, his mother died of a drug overdose and his grandparents have since been raising him. He has been in Children’s Hospital in Atlanta and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg for almost 18 months. Robinson has had numerous digestive motility issues since he was 2 and after a surgery in 2011 went bad, he has been left with damaged organs. He now awaits a multivisceral transplant in order to stay alive. “Multivisceral” means that more than one organ needs to be transplanted.
“He was on a feeding pump for eight years and started aspirating in his lungs so he had to have the surgery,” said Zandra Williford, Robinson’s grandmother. “It went terribly wrong and we had to stay in the hospital for nutrition, he had to be fed by IVs, he couldn’t absorb anything in his body.”
After the surgery, Robinson had to live with an open wound that would not heal. It got worse until he was life flighted to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburg.
“What they’ve done is shorten his life. Dalton will never live to be old,” said Williford. “They’ve damaged his kidneys, he’s got tubes sticking out everywhere, he’ll have to have home nurses and we’ll have to be flown back and forth up here all the time, and it’s going to be a lifelong thing for him.”
Robinson will have to wait six to 12 months to be placed on the multivisceral transplant list as he is not yet strong enough and must first go through rehab. The transplant will include a stomach, pancreas, liver and possibly more.
“I’m gonna come home and take care of him so he’ll get strong enough and he’ll be in rehab,” said Williford.
Robinson is expected to come home at the end of February or early March. Williford has contacted Make-A-Wish in regards of a room makeover for Robinson, but because of the late notice, Make-A-Wish may not have it done in time. They have been placed on a waiting list and have been informed by Make-A-Wish that they do not remove carpet, just decorate.
“He can’t have any carpet, so we’re going to have to do the hallway and the living room and his room,” said Williford. “Eventually I’ll have to get him a wheel chair ramp. He can walk but I don’t know; it’s just a lot of stuff I gotta do.”
Robinson’s grandfather has remained in Cartersville to work so his wife is able to stay with Robinson at the hospital. He has been removing carpet on his own and working to get Robinson’s room ready for the makeover. The Williford family has lived in Cartersville over 10 years and has been grateful for all the help from the community.
“We’re always, always, always looking for prayers, that’s what’s got me through this far, it’s the people,” said Williford.
For more information on Robinson’s story and ways to volunteer or donate, visit the Facebook page “Hope for Dalton” or email Williford at firstname.lastname@example.org.