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Jun 29, 2018 Latest post:
Dec 14, 2019
Eric was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in 2006. PSC is a rare autoimmune disease that causes narrowing and scarring of the bile ducts, and because of the increased pressure and back up of bile, eventually leads to cirrhosis of the liver. It is a progressive and incurable disease. In 2014 he developed colon cancer and had a total colectomy. While undergoing tests prior to surgery, it was determined that his liver was now showing signs of late-stage PSC. Imaging showed swollen blood vessels in his esophagus and stomach, which were banded multiple times through endoscopic treatment. Portal hypertension was diagnosed and monitored until the severity led to Eric having a trans jugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) placed in 2017.
Continued disease progression has caused repeated episodes of cholangitis (infection in his bile ducts). These episodes come on suddenly and aggressively, requiring hospitalization. In April 2018 Eric was hospitalized with cholangitis leading to acute pancreatitis and septic shock. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) was done to clear the ducts and a dominant stricture was found. His jaundice and fatigue continued to worsen and after another ERCP, a stent was placed in his common bile duct. Secondary Biliary Cirrhosis is now a factor in his deteriorating health.
There are no additional therapies to try or new drugs available to treat the disease or manage the debilitating symptoms. In April, 2018 Eric was referred to the University of Minnesota's Transplant Center and is now awaiting a liver transplant.