Baby Seth Cleared for Care - NBC Chicago

Baby Seth Cleared for Care

Indiana boy, now 8 months old, slated to fly to North Carolina on Monday



    Baby Seth suffers from immune disorder; needs transplant to save his life. (Published Friday, April 8, 2011)

    An 8-month-old Indiana boy who needs a potentially life-saving surgery is slated to fly to North Carolina for treatment next Monday.

    Seth Petreikis will take a private, medical flight with his mother, Becky Petreikis, to Duke University Medical Center to begin preparing for a transplant of his thymus.  Father Tim will drive down later in the week, the family said.

    "My heart was overwhelmed with joy and with peace at the hearing of the news," Tim Petreikis said Wednesday.  "My wife cried when she was told.  I thought also on the verse Psalms 3:4 which says 'I cried unto the lord with my voice and he heard me out of his holy hill.'  We love our son and are extremely excited at the thought of leaving for his surgery."

    Baby Seth was diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome shortly after he was born.  The rare and fatal condition inhibits the body's immune system and only one doctor in the United States performs the surgery that could save his life.

    Once at Duke, the boy will undergo a week of blood work before doctors begin screening thymus donor tissue for the transplant.  That screening process could take as little as 10 days or longer than a month.

    The last several months have been a roller coaster for Seth Petreikis and his parents.  The surgery he needs was initially denied by the family's insurance carrier because it was deemed "experimental."  

    A not-for-profit managed care organization later agreed to pick up the tab, but then bureaucracy got in the way of some paperwork, delaying the boy's care.

    Full Coverage: Seth Petreikis