MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Milwaukee dad says he was going down the wrong path in life, but having a son turned his life around. Shortly after his son’s birth, he was able to return the favor.
Now, he's the first African-American live transplant donor in the state of Wisconsin.
“He changed my life a lot, to the point where I just want to do good in life,” says Eulos Rounds.
Eulos Rounds, Jr. is a daddy’s boy. He and his dad have spent little time apart since he was born.
“I have plans for him. I want him to have a nice future. I want him to grow,” says Rounds.
But Eulos Round’s big plans for his son were in jeopardy shortly after his son entered the world, when the infant was diagnosed with an inborn liver disease.
Dr. Johnny Hong at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin says Eulos, Jr. had only days to live without a liver transplant. His dad didn’t waste any time, and volunteered to donate.
The risky surgery meant removing 30% of Rounds’ liver and transplanting it into his son. Dr. Hong says the liver is a unique organ with the ability to regenerate. Before the surgery, Dr. Hong spoke with Rounds about the dangers.
“Detailing the risks involved with the surgery, including death,” says Dr. Hong.
“I didn’t care too much about the risks, 'cause he was at risk anyway. I felt like, if he go, I go,” says Rounds.
Froedtert Hospital and Children’s Hospital orchestrated two simultaneous surgeries, one on the father and one on the son. For hours, Dr. Hong walked back and forth between the hospitals, working with two transplant teams.
In the end, the infant’s life was saved and his father’s preserved. Dr. Hong says throughout the day, he was humbled by the actions of Eulos, Sr.
“It really emphasized the goodness in mankind,” says Dr. Hong.
It took Rounds 100 days for his liver to regrow back to its original size, but with a young son, his recovery has been far from relaxing.
At home, just days away from turning two, Eulos Jr. is energetic and curious, and constantly running back into his dad’s arms.
“I wake up, look at him, we smile each other, and it’s okay,” says Rounds.
Dr. Hong says the baby’s liver should grow as his body grows, just like any other child’s. It was a milestone surgery for a few reasons. It was Froedtert’s first time doing this operation on that campus in 15 years. Eulos Rounds, Sr. also became the first live African-American transplant donor in the state of Wisconsin.
The Rounds family has set up an account to help them pay off all the medical bills.
CLICK HERE to make a donation.