Tanner’s Story

In April of 2018, Tanner Kleist was living his normal life by helping out on the farm when he was trampled by 10-15 adult female cows. He was rushed to American Family Children’s Hospital via UW Med Flight with a 5% chance of survival. He needed three emergency surgeries to repair damage to his brain, kidneys and liver.

Tanner had a serious liver injury. Dr. Peter Nichol called it lethal. “The last three or four times I’ve seen this, the child has died,” he said. 

Nichol performed Tanner’s first of four surgeries, essentially doing damage control to stop the bleeding in a liver that had been ripped in two. He has 31 others at his side, calling in transplant surgeons to help with the procedure. 

“This was 32 people pulling together for one kid,” Dr. Nichol said. “This is what we’re supposed to do, right? This is why we’re here.”

Tanner is now a healthy 10-year-old and is living his life to the fullest.

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