Coping with Crohn’s Disease


“His surgeon had to remove Kristian’s entire colon”

After experiencing relentless abdominal pain, Kristian was referred to a GI specialist. Tests results showed that he had ulcers in the lower part of his colon. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory disease of the intestines that primarily affects the lining of the digestive tract and causes chronic abdominal pain. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue. It can be both painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications such as ulcers and bowel obstruction. It can also cause problems in other parts of the body like anemia, osteoporosis, and gallbladder or liver disease.

Kristian was initially told his case was mild and was prescribed prednisone to suppress his immune system and reduce inflammation. However, he experienced no relief and the treatment seemed to aggravate his condition even more. Kristian’s doctor tried different combinations of medications, but nothing was working. After a CT scan of his abdomen indicated that Kristian’s colon was shutting down, he was immediately taken to the OR for emergency surgery to remove part of his colon. Two days later, Kristian was still in unbearable pain. A second CT scan showed that another portion of his colon was severely inflamed, and his doctors were forced to remove it altogether. As a result, it is difficult for Kristian’s intestines to absorb enough nutrients to keep him well nourished. He must supplement his diet with nutritional meal replacement shakes to avoid malnutrition.

Coping with the realities of his illness has been a fierce journey for Kristian. His pain and subsequent diagnosis happened so suddenly that he wasn’t prepared for the profound impact it would have on his life or how isolated he would feel from his friends as a result of his condition. Currently homeschooled, Kristian plans on attending college to study computer engineering in the future. Intelligent and determined, Kristian is a computer genius with a love of technology and online gaming.

Kids Wish Network is hard at work planning an incredible experience for Kristian; make sure to stay up to date by checking back soon for all of the details of his once-in-a-lifetime wish!


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Kids Wish Network is a charitable organization dedicated to infusing hope, creating happy memories, and improving the quality of life for children having experienced life-altering situations. Kids Wish Network assists children and their families through several key programs.