Riley Patient Becomes a Super Hero
Indianapolis was protected by a young super hero last week when Turbo Tatin took to the streets to track down a toy thief. Six-year-old Tatin Carroll was granted his wish to become a super hero for the day by Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana. The organization grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Carroll is a patient at Riley at IU Health who suffers from a rare liver disease called Alagille Syndrome. The disease is caused by a gene mutation that prevents normal internal organ development and can cause severe complications of the liver, kidneys and heart and can cause the bones to fracture easily.
Riley at IU Health gastroenterologist Dr. Girish Subbarao first diagnosed Carroll at two weeks old and has remained the lead doctor to treat his unique case. “There is currently no cure for the disease,” Dr. Subbarao said. “The key is to tailor treatment to each individual patient by forming plans to relieve their existing symptoms and prevent further problems.” Although a liver transplant is a good option for many patients, the disease has severely weakened Carroll’s heart, making surgery too risky. Instead, Dr. Subbarao focuses on treatments to make Carroll comfortable and improve his quality of life. He customizes a nutrition plan and vitamin supplements, prescribes medicine to reduce skin irritation and also pain medication as needed to control pain caused by brittle bones and fractures.
Dr. Subbarao said he enjoyed watching Turbo Tatin in action. “This is one of the best things I have ever experienced,” Dr. Subbarao said of the wish.
The day began at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, where the Carroll family gathered to watch the Indianapolis Colts practice. During the visit, Carroll got word that a villain named Toymentor was on the loose with stolen toys. He learned of his alter ego, Turbo Tatin, and set off to capture the thief. The chase took him to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where INDYCAR driver Josef Newgarden gave him a ride in an official Indianapolis 500 pace car to search for clues. Just when he thought Toymentor had escaped, Turbo Tatin received a phone call from Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, who told him the villain was headed to Riley at IU Health. After arriving at the hospital, he captured Toymentor and rescued Blue, the Indianapolis Colts mascot who had been held captive by Toymentor. Together, he and Blue retrieved the stolen toys and shared their bounty with fellow patients.
“The best parts were riding the in the race car and getting the bad guy,” Carroll said as he reflected on his day. His family, including his four siblings, accompanied him at every stop. His mom, Regina Marcum, described the day as both amazing and overwhelming. “It has been a good experience for the whole family,” Marcum said. “Even Tatin’s main doctor, Dr. Subbarao, is here,” she said. “I know how busy he and the nursing team get. The fact that they would make time to be here for Tatin really means a lot.”
Ann Klipsch is a research nurse at Riley at IU Health who works closely with Carroll. She noted how unique his wish was. “How many kids say they want to rescue another person and make others happy by giving away toys? Tatin is clearly very special.