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Local child recovers from rare syndrome

In February 2013, Dylan Sellars was just about to turn 1. One afternoon, he began vomiting, something his parents suspected might be a tummy bug. Dylan tagged along for a doctor’s appointment already scheduled for his sister, and on the way, the little boy began turning grey, then yellow, and he wasn’t very responsive. He was rushed to the emergency room, where it was determined he needed to be airlifted to Primary Children’s Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

“They put us on a plane in the middle of the night and we got down there and he had his first surgery within, like, three minutes of walking in the door,” said mother Cassie Sellars.

Dylan suffered from a rare birth defect that usually appeared within a day of birth. A year later, he was diagnosed with volvulus, a bowel obstruction caused by a twist in the intestines. His Short Bowel Syndrome made it so that doctors had to remove 85 percent of his small bowel and a third of his colon.

“His stomach actually did what they called ‘distended’: His stomach started growing and bulging from the twist,” said Dylan’s father, K.C. Sellars.

After the emergency surgeries, Dylan and his family began what K.C. Sellars calls a “long road to recovery.” For a while, Dylan had to receive all his nutrients through food bags and liquid formula.

“He wasn’t eating at all; he had what was called a food aversion. It was almost like he was scared to eat. It would make him sick if he ate food,” said K.C. Sellars.

Today, Dylan happily munches on crackers, pizza, and pancakes, among other favorites. However, he still is connected to his Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) for eight hours a day, when he is sleeping at night.

Dylan needs at least two more surgeries, and for the baby who had just a 25 percent chance of survival last year, things are looking up.

“There are kids who can play sports, there are kids who can do any normal little-kid thing, go out and play, slide down slides, anything. He’ll be a normal little-kid, he’ll just be probably smaller than other ones,” said Cassie Sellars.

The Sellarses drive to Salt Lake City at least once a month so Dylan can see his team of doctors. They say they are grateful for Primary Children’s as well as K.C. Sellar’s job, which helped pay for some of the medical bills.

For more on Dylan’s progress, visit the family’s Facebook page:
There is an account at Chase Bank under Dylan Sellars for those interested in helping with the cost of travel.

KIDK Channel 3 and Primary Children’s team up for the annual telethon Sunday, June 1.

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