14-month-old Hollis captures hearts during stem cell transplant recovery

Hollis, a Mississippi boy, inhabits a hospital room in Minneapolis where he is recovering from a stem cell transplant.

A 14-month-old boy named Hollis, from Mississippi, has captured hearts during his recovery from a stem cell transplant at M-Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

His mother, Shenna, had to have an emergency C-section when Hollis was born because he had a knot in his umbilical cord.

Hollis was put on oxygen for a little while and a feeding tube. Plus, he had to follow up with a cardiologist because he had a heart murmur.

Four months later, Doctors found more issues with his heart, including an enlarged aorta and a hole in one of his arteries.

Genetic testing found Hollis, now nine months old, had MPS 1, also known as Herler Syndrome, which is a very rare, inherited genetic disorder.

Hollis needed a stem cell transplant.

Hollis, a 14-month-old, recovers from his stem cell transplant at M-Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.

“After a lengthy discussion, we made the decision to come to Minneosta,” said Shenna. “It has been the right decision and we knew that from the get go.”

Hollis was admitted Oct. 22 and doctors performed the transplant Nov. 1.

“For a couple of weeks after the chemo, he wasn’t himself, but now, he’s back. Sick baby, but he is a happy, fun loving baby,” said Sheila Duncan, Hollis’ grandmother. “He and his twin sister play so well. He loves his toys. He loves his toys. And it was hard to see him suffer, but I knew the days would get hard, but we would need to get through the hard days to get to the good days.”

Hollis’ family says it’s amazing what the hospital does for its patients and its families.

“Everyone is phenomenal. From the ones who bring our food to the ones who clean our room, the nurses, the doctors, we can’t say enough about the people at this hospital and what a true blessing it has been for us to be here,” Duncan said.  

Hollis’ family hopes they can be in Minnesota for Christmas to visit him. They hope he is well enough to return home to Mississippi at the end of January. He’ll be back in Minnesota for his checkup in six months.

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