NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It is one of the rarest of transplant operations — an intestinal transplant. Only a small handful of medical centers can do it.
As CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Wednesday, there was a father whose life was saved at the Cleveland Clinic after a freak encounter with a bull.READ MORE: No Mask Mandate In NYC Though De Blasio 'Strongly Recommends' Wearing Them
Caleb Brooks and his young family live on a small farm in Alabama.
“We got that … the bull that attacked me when he was 2 days old. We raised him. I went and got hay that day,” Brooks said.
That’s when the bull suddenly turned on him.
“Cash just kind of puts his head down and I mean like the snap of a finger darts right into his stomach,” said Madeline Brooks, Caleb’s wife.
“And he picked me up and I went up in the air and I was sideways, and he still put his head right here and smashed me into the tree,” Caleb Brooks said.READ MORE: Dr. Max Gomez Breaks Down Why We Might - Or Might Not - Need A 3rd COVID Vaccine Booster Shot
Caleb’s intestines were crushed. Emergency surgery at a nearby hospital stopped massive internal bleeding. Once stable, he was flown to the Cleveland Clinic for a possible small intestine transplant.
“If there’s anything wrong with the intestine, there could be significant issues with maintaining that balance of fluid, electrolytes and nutrition. He had nothing. He had only his stomach to about 10 centimeters of his duodenum, so there’s no way he could be eating anything. That was just not possible,” Dr. Anil Vaidya said.
It took a family move to Cleveland and more than four months on the waiting list before Caleb got the good news that a match for a transplant had been found.
After 10 hours in the operating room, Caleb had new intestines. Being young and healthy, he recovered quickly and returned home to Alabama about a month after surgery. He’s now working full time and enjoying life.
“Bryar, my oldest, is playing coach-pitch baseball. I’m the head coach. Y’all see me out there hitting the ball and throwing him the ball. It’s just awesome to actually be able to do that,” Caleb said.MORE NEWS: New York City Rolls Out $100 Incentive For Getting Vaccinated As CDC Report Warns Delta Variant As Contagious As Chicken Pox
Luckily, the lower part of Caleb’s large intestine was undamaged so doctors were able to connect his transplanted intestines to his colon so he has normal bowel function, without an ostomy bag. He will, however, need to take anti-rejection medicine for the rest of his life.