Spence back in Pittsburgh for treatment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

DEMOPOLIS – Evan Spence is once again back at Pittsburgh’s Children Hospital getting treatment. This time, he is dealing with a virus that came as a package deal with his new liver that he got less than three months ago.

“The virus known as CMV (cytomegalovirus) is like having a case of mono,” said Diane Lewis.

Lewis is a registered nurse and also the mother of Evan’s girlfriend, Samantha.

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“The symptoms that it presents with are just like that of a person with mono,” said Lewis. “The donor had it, and they caught it in Pittsburgh. The doctors, though, had been watching Evan’s numbers.”

According to Lewis, there was a possibility of Spence contracting the virus with a suppressed immune system. The doctors at Children’s in Pittsburgh also realized that possibility.

For Spence though, the emotional roller coaster continues to loop the track.

“They discharged him on Monday,” said Lewis. “Then they called him back and told him he needed to be re-admitted. They were able to catch the CMV while it was in his bloodstream and have been able to treat it.”

Unlike Mono, CMV is non-discriminatory when choosing a body part to attack. Mono tends to attack the liver and the spleen while CMV is equal opportunity.

“If it had gotten back down to his liver that would have sent him into rejection,” said Lewis. “The doctors would have had to reduce his anti-rejection meds to fight it, and that would have put him in rejection.”

Spence spent last night in the hospital and will have to spend the next two weeks in the Steel City as an outpatient getting treatment. Spence also has a new tube in place to go along with his T-Tube.

“They put a pic-line in for IV’s,” said Lewis.

Despite the new snag, Spence is still in good spirits, according to Lewis.

“Physically, he feels fine,” said Lewis. “He just doesn’t want to be up there.”