A Gift of Life for the Tiniest of Patients

Born with a rare, life-threatening liver disease, Ariz Gadit received a life-saving liver transplant at Mount Sinai in 2011 when he was less than a month old and weighed less than seven pounds. Today, he is thriving.

When Ariz Gadit was born in October 2011, he seemed like a healthy baby. But a routine test showed that little Ariz had low blood sugar and a low blood platelet count. Further testing revealed that he had neonatal hemochromatosis, a rare and often fatal liver disease that causes “iron overload,” or toxic amounts of iron to build up in a baby’s body. When several treatments failed, his parents Samreen and Hussain Gadit turned to the liver transplant specialists at Mount Sinai Medical Center’s Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute (RMTI) to save their son’s life.

Ariz’ dad Hussain begged the team at RMTI to let him donate to his son. However, Ariz was only three weeks old and needed a smaller-size donor liver. If someone living were to donate, they had to weigh less than 120 pounds. No one in their family met those requirements.

Unexpectedly, a donor liver, from a deceased infant, became available within a matter of days. As Dr. Sander Florman explains in the video, “A Life-Saving Liver Transplant: Baby Ariz,” this surgery was particularly challenging given Ariz’s age and size (less than a month old and only seven pounds). But the liver transplant was successful. “Only one or two liver transplant surgeries are done a year in the United States on babies less than two months of age,” says Dr. Florman, who is Director of the Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute at Mount Sinai and who performed Ariz’s surgery with a team of specialists at Mount Sinai. Ariz is now growing fast. He is healthy and energetic and enjoying the simple pleasures of everyday life with his two brothers.

The Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at Mount Sinai is one of the largest and most successful in the United States. The first pediatric living-related liver transplant and the first pediatric liver/intestinal transplant in New York State were performed at Mount Sinai. We provide comprehensive, multidisciplinary care, before, during, and after transplantation. In addition, we offer comprehensive counseling and medical care to people considering living donation through the Zweig Family Center for Living Donation, which is part of RMTI. The Zweig Family Center for Living Donation is one of the largest living donor programs in the United States.