Tim Colatruglio fights Pancreatitis

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Ashley C. '19, Writer

Timothy Colatruglio is the father of students Timothy C. Jr. ‘20 and Ashley C. ‘19, and Olentangy graduates Dominic Colatruglio ’17, and Kyle Colatruglio ‘15. Colatruglio Sr. went to the hospital on Nov. 12, 2016 for the first time due to pain in his abdomen. Doctors scurried to figure out the cause and on Nov. 14, 2016 he had a scare of a mass on his pancreas. Doctors retracted this theory when Colatruglio Sr. went for a biopsy. They concluded he had Chronic Acute Pancreatitis. Colatruglio Sr. has now suffered and fought the disease for a year.

“When I know I have to go to the hospital and I’m going to miss things and events, it’s hard. It’s hard when I see my family while I’m in the hospital bed and I know their thoughts are about me, and my well being in the future,” Colatruglio Sr. said.

According to “Discovery of molecular pathway could lead to pancreatitis treatments by Stanford medicine, Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is  necessary for living because it produces enzymes to break down food and absorb nutrients, along with creating insulin. Chronic Pancreatitis causes malnutrition, nausea, diarrhea, chronic pain and weight loss. Colatruglio has gone to the hospital 20 times in the past year for pain treatment and will have a surgery in February. According to the University of Minnesota, the surgery is a Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Auto transplant.

“The surgery consists of removing my pancreas, spleen and re-connecting my stomach and intestines for digestion. The Islet cells are harvested from the pancreas and transplanted into my liver.  My liver will produce insulin in the hopes of me not becoming a diabetic. The unknown is the recovering, how long it takes, and also what it will feel like afterwards,” Colatruglio Sr. said.

The recovery time of the procedure is a minimum of six months.

“You have an idea what to expect from hearing people’s stories posted on the Internet and from the doctors at Ohio State, but you really don’t know what it’s like because pain is really hard to describe. What is painful to me, I can’t describe to you, and you can’t feel it. My worry is I don’t want to trade the quality of life I have now for something less, but I know that in time unfortunately this disease is progressive in the way it will fail. This opportunity I have to have this surgery is the hope I can live a normal life and be able to go places where I want to go, and not miss out on things and no longer being in pain, or less pain,” Colatruglio Sr. said.

Colatruglio puts his hope into God and his doctors to get through the disease and push through.

“The hardest thing is seeing and knowing that people are far worse than I am; they are begging to feel how I feel. How could I feel sick when I see people that are bald, and weigh at most 85 pounds fighting cancer and getting [chemotherapy]? I cannot explain the thoughts in my head seeing those people and then seeing myself. Mentally there are challenges but through my faith, and through God I will overcome this and come out better,” Colatruglio Sr. said.