Pediatric Kidney Transplants
Pediatric Transplant Success Stories
Non-Directed Kidney Donor Meets Recipient and His Family
Drew Sollenberger Meets Transplant Recipient Ethan Hatton
Since birth, Ethan Hatton has battled multiple congenital conditions that eventually caused his kidneys to fail, making a kidney transplant necessary. When Drew Sollenberger expressed his desire to become a non-directed kidney donor, doctors at UMMC found his kidney to be a perfect match for Ethan and immediately arranged the transplant.
Sheila Williams (Kahla's mother): When Kahla was only 5 months old, she started getting sick. First, she had an ear infection and then a stomach virus. A couple of weeks later, she had to be rushed to the University of Maryland Medical Center because she was having a seizure. That happened only a few days before Christmas.
The doctors found that her blood pressure was very high. They catheterized her to find out why she wasn't passing any urine. They realized her kidney had failed on her. After running a lot of tests, they discovered that something from her stool had made its way to her kidneys and caused them to shut down completely.
Kahla had to stay in the hospital for several months. Her doctors inserted a tube into Kahla's abdomen to give her dialysis. They taught me how to give her dialysis and I was able to take her home, but her blood pressure stayed high and her sonograms showed that her kidneys weren't getting better. In fact, they were getting smaller.
Dr. Mendley talked to me about getting Kahla a kidney transplant. At that time, I didn't know anything about transplants and I couldn't find anything on the Internet about pediatric transplants. The pediatric transplant staff was so helpful. They were always there and they helped me through a lot. Any time I needed someone to talk to, they were there to answer my questions.
I started getting tested to see if I was a match to donate my kidney to Kahla. Different people in my family started to get tested as well, including my mother and Kahla's great aunts. Finally in early December in 2000, I was able to donate my kidney to Kahla.
Kahla is doing fine now. She is doing really well. She used to go to therapy three times a week, and now she only goes once a week, on Wednesdays. I can't believe it. She is a totally different child now compared to when she was sick.
Nancy McClintock (Madison's mother): Until Madison became sick, he had no medical problems at all. Then, he started looking pale and he became lethargic. He also started throwing up. I brought him in for a physical and the blood work showed that he needed a kidney and needed to start dialysis.
I was in total shock at that time. I could have taken him to another hospital for his treatment, but I chose the University of Maryland Medical Center because I was more familiar with Maryland. When I was told that Madison was going to need to be on dialysis, I really didn't know anything about it, but I learned.
Madison had to get on peritoneal (through the abdomen) dialysis for nine hours a day while he slept. He was on it for 2 1/2 months when he received a kidney from his father. It was a successful transplant and his kidneys started working immediately. Everything went wonderfully until his creatinine level began creeping up. They biopsied his kidney and changed his medication. They tried to help his new kidney to adjust with drugs, but we later found out that he was in acute rejection.
Madison's body had a severe allergic reaction to the antibodies. We are in a holding pattern now to see what his body is doing. He is currently taking 25 pills a day, down from 50 pills. The prednisone in his medications has caused him to gain weight, but he has been a good patient.
Despite his illness, he kept up with all of his work. I ended up home schooling him the last month or so of last school year. He really likes math. In fact, he graduated with honors from his middle school.
Madison is a typical sixth grade boy in many ways. He likes to play basketball and is a big Redskins and World Wrestling Federation fan. Our experience here has been wonderful. Everyone I've met over the last year and a half has been great. They all went out of their way to make sure that he was happy, comfortable and entertained during this process. When he was hospitalized, he was able to play Nintendo and e-mail his friends. I love the staff here. They are so dedicated.
This page was last updated: July 29, 2014