01:00 AM EST on Thursday, January 29, 2004
BY STEVE PEOPLES
Journal Staff Writer
Addison Vogl is coming home.
After removing 75 percent of her liver Sunday night, doctors told the little girl's family yesterday that she is cancer free.
"I guess the beginning of her new life started Sunday night; we just didn't know it then," said Addie's father, Mike Vogl, on the phone from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, shortly after hearing the good news.
Doctors hoped they could remove all the cancer from Addie's liver, but weren't sure the surgery was successful until tests came back yesterday. If cancer cells remained, the 10-month-old girl would have needed a new liver.
"Sometimes in our lives you have to have a victory cigar. This is one of those times," Vogl said.
Addie was transferred out of the intensive-care unit yesterday, and the family is making plans to return to their Portsmouth home on Monday. After initially being told that Addie would need to spend the next few weeks in a hospital, doctors said yesterday it was safe to bring her home.
"All the tests have been good. Her liver is already functioning," Vogl said. "She still cries a little, especially when she coughs. But the kid's been through what she's been through and she's still smiling."
People from across the state have rallied to help Addie and her family since news of their struggles became public just after Christmas. Vogl lost his job as an airline pilot after Sept. 11, 2001, and his wife, Stacey, left her job after Addie was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer in September.
At that time, Addie had spent the majority of her life in the hospital, having been born three months premature.
In recent months, people have donated thousands of dollars to help the family pay for health-care costs and living expenses. Some have simply written encouraging letters. Others have offered parts of their livers.