Sam, 5 (left), Steph, Jack, and Scott are headed to Disney World next year. Courtesy Jamie-Lee Fuoco

Sam, 5 (left), Steph, Jack, and Scott are headed to Disney World next year. Courtesy Jamie-Lee Fuoco

Langley 7-year-old transplant survivor has special wish granted

Jack Matheson received a liver transplant last year, and is headed to Disney World next year.

Langley’s Jack Matheson is a typical 7-year-old who enjoys going to school, riding his bike, and camping.

What’s not-so-ordinary about Jack is that he was born with a genetic disorder called Alpha 1 anti-trypsin deficiency disorder – a liver disease that impacts his liver and spleen.

Jack was diagnosed with the disorder when he was just eight months old, explained his mother Steph Matheson.

“He has been to many doctor appointments and stays in BC Children’s hospital since his diagnosis. His stomach was very distended due to the disease which restricted him from any contact sports as well as going on trampolines and bouncy castles. This was difficult at times as he wanted to do what all of his friends were doing.”

In 2018, Jack received a liver transplant, and continues on his journey of recovery.

“While he is still on some medication that will be lifelong, he does not take nearly as many as he did right after the surgery occurred. He will still have ongoing appointments at BC Children’s Hospital, but we are down to one to two a year now,” Steph explained.

Post-transplant, Jack worked with a physiotherapist to improve coordination and balance, and now is able to play baseball. Jack hopes to try out for soccer and hockey this fall.

Jack’s new liver came from an anonymous donor, which Steph calls an “incredible act of altruism.”

“Through the living donor program, we have reached out to this person in a letter and hope to meet them one day to thank them in person for their generous gift,” added Steph.

Through the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada and Pacific Blue Cross, Jack has been granted a special wish – to go to Disney World.

The family plans on going on the vacation during next year’s spring break.

Jack said he is especially looking forward to the roller-coasters, and seeing Mickey Mouse.

Accompanying Jack will be his mom, dad, and younger brother, Sam, 5. The family has lived in Walnut Grove for about four years, and Jack is in Grade 2 at Dorothy Peacock Elementary.

“I think we are most looking forward to being together as a family of four. Life can get busy, and it is nice to have that quality time together experiencing something fun.

Despite his medical challenges, Steph said her son has been “an incredible young man.”

“He is kind, curious, and very thoughtful. Jack has been incredible through all of his visits to the hospital. Despite many blood tests, IVs, and pokes and prods from doctors and nurses, Jack has always been brave and maintained a positive attitude. We are so proud of what a strong and resilient person he is.”

The Matheson’s plan on participating in the Transplant Trot on April 28 at the Swanguard Stadium in Burnaby.

 

Jack Matheson was diagnosed with a genetic disorder when he was just eight months old. Submitted photo

Jack Matheson was diagnosed with a genetic disorder when he was just eight months old. Submitted photo

Just Posted

Shortreed Elementary received $40,000 from the Indigo Love of Reading foundation to purchase new books. (Special to The Star)
VIDEO: Shortreed one of 30 Canadian schools aided by Indigo’s Love of Reading program

Aldergrove school received $40,000, which will be put towards new books for the library

Students staged a flash mob on the last day of dancing at Lisa’s School of Dance in Langley City on Saturday, June 19. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Final dances held at Lisa Dew’s dance school in Langley City

After 35 years, the school has been forced to close due to the bottom-line impact of the pandemic

Jessica Horst, a volunteer with the Bertrand Creek Enhancement Society, picked Scotch Broom at Jackman Wetlands on Wednesday night. (Lisa Dreves/Special to The Star)
Scotch broom removal a big task six years in the making at Jackman Wetlands

Volunteers filled a truck-full of invasive shrub growing rampant in Aldergrove park

Health and safety protocols for arriving international travellers are strict and don’t consider reasons for travel, says a letter writer. (Black Press Media files)
LETTER: Langley performer irked by ever-changing, inconsistent COVID rules

Letter writer feels she had not choice but to move to Mexico to ride out pandemic

A fawn separated from his mother by a well-meaning homeowner in Maple Ridge is a cautionary tale, say Conservation officers and staff at Langley’s Critter Care wildlife sanctuary. (Critter Care/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Maple Ridge fawn in Langley wildlife sanctuary after separation from mother

Wildlife officials say moving a fawn is not a good idea

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read