Seeking a Second Opinion
Nearly a year after Assiah's transplant, Rasheena was advised that she needed another surgery to remove the damaged lobe. She decided to seek a second opinion from Dr. Dunn — a decision she doesn't regret.
"When we went to DuPont, my relationship with the doctors and the team was so natural. It puts you at ease when you feel like you have a team that is really listening to you," Rasheena says. "As a mother, you spend so much time with your child that you can identify signs and symptoms almost immediately. Whenever I describe my observations to Dr. Dunn, he listens to what I have to say."
Dr. Dunn and the duPont team — with whom Jefferson partners to provide pediatric transplants — agreed with the original recommendation to sever the right lobe of Assiah's transplanted liver, a procedure that Dr. Dunn performed in June 2010. Again, the initial results appeared positive, but ultimately the rest of the donor liver began to fail. By January 2011, Rasheena and the care team at DuPont were talking about another transplant, and in March of that year, Assiah was officially listed.
"We waited almost a year and a half for the second organ. Dr. Dunn said he had received a few offers but didn't accept them because of donor size and laboratory findings," Rasheena recalls. "We even received an offer from one of my cousins in Mississippi. He was 14 and had died in a car accident. Dr. Dunn turned it down, but three days later we got the offer for the split organ that was transplanted into Assiah in July."
These days, Rasheena says she's never seen her daughter so healthy. Since the transplant, Assiah's skin is glowing, she's eating and growing, and she has tons of energy. She's also doing first-grade work at home with Rasheena, who's searching for the "perfect" preschool for this precocious little girl.
Rasheena values and appreciates the care and respect that she and her daughter received from Dr. Dunn and the multidisciplinary team at duPont.
"They were very knowledgeable about everything that was going on with Assiah. I think the steps we chose to take were very effective. Even before the transplant, the care that Dr. Dunn provided allowed her condition to be stable for the first time ever."
After four years of nonstop hands-on experience caring for Assiah, Rasheena is also considering a career in the medical field. "Dr. Dunn has often introduced me as 'a doctor who doesn't have her degree,'" laughs Rasheena, who says she plans to finish her PR degree before pursuing a career as a clinician.