Three Local Kids With Unique Challenges Await Kidney Transplants

posted by 1200 WOAI -

San Antonio's University Transplant Center, which is a joint venture of University Hospital and UT Health, says it has three young patients, one as young as 9, who are in need of live saving kidney transplants, but are not eligible for as many as 95% of eligible kidneys because each has already had a kidney transplant fail, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Dr. Mazen Arar, who heads the pediatric transplant program, says it is a serious problem for these children, who are literally tied to dialysis machines.

William Smith, a retired soldier, is the father of 14 year old Diego Smith, who underwent a kidney transplant at the age of 2 which he hoped would save his life, but that kidney failed.

He says that leaves Diego essentially tied to three times a week, four hour a day dialysis, at the exclusion of school, playtime, even family vacations.

"We have to leave after dialysis on Friday and have to be back in time for dialysis on Monday," he said.  "That means that we are tied to the hospital and the house."

He says Diego has to try his best to make up for their hours of school time he misses each week because he is tied to a kidney dialysis machine.

All of the blood relatives of the three children have been ruled out as donors, so Dr. Arar is hoping for that is called an 'altruistic donor,' a person who would be willing to give up one of their kidneys to help save the life of a young child.

PHOTO: DR. ARAR WITH ONE OF HIS YOUNG PATIENTS

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