TALON McGowan likes playing with his trucks, fishing and getting dirty as much as any other four-year-old boy.
But unlike other kids his age, Talon is not interested in lollies, sugary breakfast cereals or meals from Maccas.
Talon, of Pomona, was born with gastroschisis - short bowel syndrome or short gut.
Ninety percent of his small intestine and 50% of his large intestine are missing, which means he cannot absorb the nutrients his body needs to grow, so he needs to be fed through a tube directly into his bloodstream.
But the intravenous feeding, known as home parenteral nutrition, can lead to liver damage and has taken its toll on the little boy.
His mother, Kelly McRae, said a combined intestine-and-liver transplant was probably inevitable.
"They won't do a liver transplant alone because if he's still on the HPN it can lead to problems again, which is why they do the combined intestinal and liver transplant," she said.
"But there's a very high rejection rate with the intestines, so it's a risky procedure. I suppose what we're aiming for is quality of life."
The operation has been performed at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and Ms McRae hopes to hear more on a possible assessment by the Victorian transplant team this week before he can be placed on the waiting list. His family has not ruled out making an application for Federal Government assistance to have the operation carried out in the United Kingdom if he cannot make it on to the waiting list here.
If accepted, his medical expenses could cost $1 million and the family would have to relocate to the UK for two years.
In the meantime, she hooks Talon up to take his food through a central intravenous line near his heart for 12 hours every night as she has done ever since she brought him home from hospital.
One slip in technique could lead to infection and yet another trip to hospital. But Ms McRae, who also has a 14-month-old son Reuben, does not give up.
"I can only hope Talon can stay healthy, happy and perhaps one day be weaned from HPN as medical advances are made."