, Newburyport, MA


November 22, 2012

An inspiration to a program

Georgetown junior Coye overcomes major health issues to return to football


For two months, the pancreatitis ravaged his body. Most serious was the time when his liver began to fail because a main duct to the liver was being crushed by swelling. Coye began to turn yellow, even his eyes. A stent was then inserted through surgery to get that situation under control. After three weeks, he was able to return home briefly, but even after the pancreatitis was controlled, the UC was still very much a major issue. So he returned to the hospital, this time to Mass General, where his original gastrointestinal doctor was located.

Two more months of excruciating pain followed, as did weeks of long hospital stays, and waiting to see what would work, only to run into roadblocks and deadends.

Coye was in and out of the hospitals for four months, and he could not eat solid foods. He had such long stays, the intravenous fluids were not enough nourishment to keep his body healthy.

So on three separate occasions, he had procedures where he was consciously sedated to be hooked up to PICC-lines, where thick liquid nutrients were pumped into veins just above his heart. These procedures gave him an intense burning sensation of pain. In total, Coye dropped to 115 pounds, having lost over 60 pounds from the 6-foot 2-inch, 180-pound frame he stands today.

Coye and his family were left with a major question: Should he proceed with the total colectomy to entirely remove his colon (large intestine) and Jpouch surgery?

The answer was not simple. The surgery was incredibly invasive and could last from six to 10 hours. Just the length alone offered numerous risks of complications, and if something was not hooked up exactly right, there would be no going back.

But the potential benefits for a successful surgery ultimately outweighed the bad and were too much to pass up. Assuming everything worked out with the complete removal of the colon, the UC would be 100 percent gone, and the Jpouch created from his small intestines would act as the new colon. Additionally worth noting is that most people who suffer from UC ultimately get colon cancer, and so that risk would be eliminated as well.

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