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Fox 4: Kearney marching band musician thriving nearly six years after crucial liver transplant

By Sean McDowell

Friday night football wouldn't be the same without great marching bands.

This year's edition of the Highway 92 Showdown pits Platte County against Kearney High, and the Bulldog band features a French horn player who says he's enjoying a second chance to live.

"That's the actual liver scar right there," the slender 16-year old said, lifting his shirt to display a scar that covers most of his torso.

That scar, according to Elam, is a reminder of the battle he's winning. Elam said he was born with Alpha One, which is also known as Alpha One antitrypsin deficiency, a genetic disorder that caused his liver to work inefficiently. Elam said at times, the abdominal pain was unbearable.

In 2012, three days before Christmas, Elam had a successful liver transplant at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

"I was always sick," a now-healthy Elam said. "I would end up in the hospital maybe six or seven times every winter."

Now, six years later, Brendan is better. He's a key part of the school's marching band, playing his French horn with deft skill, and he loves to run as a member of the Kearney cross country team.

Stacy Elam told Fox 4 doctors feared Brendan's condition might result in his death in a year, but the new liver led to his restored health. The organ transplant center at Children's Mercy Hospital now bears Brendan's name.


See the full story via Fox 4.

Learn more about the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at Children's Mercy