Teen Receives First Fecal Microbial Transplant at Golisano Children’s Hospital
Tyler Youngman was a little weirded out when he first heard about the procedure. Really, how could you not be?
“I mean, it’s someone else’s… stool,” he said.
But a bacterial infection, known as Clostridium Difficile or C. Diff, had been sending him to the bathroom up to 15 times per day for months. After three rounds of antibiotics had failed, Tyler was ready to try anything — even a fecal microbial transplant.
The procedure, whereby another person’s healthy stool is transplanted into a recipient, repopulates a patient’s large intestine with healthy bacteria, and would hopefully help Tyler’s body battle the terrible infection. Tyler’s procedure in November, performed by Lawrence J. Saubermann, M.D., Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutritition, was the first fecal microbial transplant performed at Golisano Children’s Hospital.
Soon after the procedure, the diarrhea had dropped off considerably, and three subsequent tests found no trace of the original infection in his system.
“It really only took about two days before he started feeling better,” said Mellissa Youngman, Tyler’s mom.
Tyler was diagnosed in 2016 with Behcet’s Disease, a rare condition that causes blood vessel inflammation throughout the body. Dr. Saubermann and David Siegel, M.D., Chief of Pediatric Rheumatology, have been treating him since then, along with a variety of other experts.
The past year brought numerous complications for Tyler, and he spent several stretches at Golisano Children’s Hospital. But his familiarity with the team made it easy for him; he jokes that he’s on a first-name basis with most of the doctors and nurses now.
“We’ve been through the protocol so often that he knows what to expect,” said his mom. “The nurses are great — they’ll say ‘Oh hey, Tyler’s back. What are you in for?’ They try and keep it light, and to tease him, which just goes along with his personality. He’s got such a good attitude — he’s really my hero.”
Tyler’s journey isn’t over, but he’s fighting to overcome any barrier that his Behcet’s Disease puts in his way. Once he graduates college, he wants to be a pediatric nurse, so he can help other children deal with their own conditions.
“I try not to get down — I’m always just trying to think positive,” says Tyler. “And I think that’s really what helps.”