Sunni is a beautiful 10 year old country girl full of strength and courage. From the age of three Sunni had been experiencing severe bouts of belly pain. In may of 2010, she was diagnosed with strep and sent home, but after several more days of pain her mother took her back to the doctor for further examination where she was transported to the hospital for an emergency appendectomy. Before long the belly pain had returned and there were countless diagnoses of strep, stomach viruses, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that followed.
Two years had passed with Sunny experiencing severe belly pain about every six weeks. During an episode of pain Sunni was taken to the emergency room where the physician on staff listened to her story and made a decision to draw her blood for lab testing. Shortly there-after Sunni was diagnosed with pancreatitis. With answers finally on the table for her severe abdominal pain Sunni’s parents learned that she had tested positive for PRSS1, a mutated gene that can cause pancreatic attacks.
Ten months after her diagnosis, four hospitalizations, five ERCPs (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography), four stent placements and a multitude of MRIs; Sunni was referred to the University of Minnesota where she had a Total Pancreatectomy and Auto Islet Cell Transplant. Her pancreas was removed and her insulin producing cells transplanted into her liver for insulin control.
Today, Sunni is home with her family in Virginia experiencing life without pain and full of hope!