Community Stories

Elkmont Boy, 13, Recovering after Liver Transplant

Ethan Layfield got cirrhosis of the liver without ever taking a sip of alcohol. At 13, Ethan’s parents noticed he was getting tired more often. They took him to doctor after doctor, until finally someone tested his liver — it was failing. 

He was immediately put on the liver transplant list, but with the COVID-19 pandemic slowing hospitals, Ethan’s family was warned he might have to wait months for a new organ. 

“His liver is so bad, but he is happy that he can have a transplant,” his father, Shane, wrote on a GoFundMe site. 

In a twist of fate, a new liver became available from a deceased donor in Florida. Ethan underwent surgery for the transplant, and on Sept. 18, he woke up a partially new person. 

“Going into this, I’m so excited,” Shane said before the procedure. “Don’t get me wrong, but at the same time, I’m so worried. There are so many risks with this surgery, it’s a liver transplant and his body could reject it.” 

So far, Ethan’s body hasn’t rejected the liver. He’s up and walking around, making sure to take things slowly to give himself time to heal. 

More than anything, Ethan just wants to go fishing again. 

His family set up a fundraising site to help offset some of the costs of the transplant. You can donate here

About the author


Jessie Harbin

Jessie lives in Meridianville with her husband, baby and four dogs. She thrives on chaos, and loves finding good news stories where you least expect them.

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