Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

An Awesome Gift of Life

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

An Awesome Gift of Life

Article excerpt

Phil and I knew before Thomas was born that he had kidney disease. During the course of his first year, we learned that one kidney was completely nonfunctional and the other was working at only 20 percent--enough to sustain a small baby, but as he grew that kidney would fail, too. Thomas would eventually need a kidney transplant.

With two other young boys (aged 5 and 2), we were not prepared for what lay ahead. Caring for Thomas has required a series of surgeries, medications, daily injections, preparation of a special formula and the use of a feeding tube for nourishment 16 hours a day. Frequent visits to the emergency room and long hospital stays have been hard on the entire family. Thomas participates in speech and physical therapy to stimulate his development.

Yet, for all the effort involved in caring for a chronically ill child, we would not change a thing. Thomas is the inspiration behind our ability to handle all of the challenges. He is a truly happy baby and a real trooper. Now 3 years old, he thanks the lab technicians after they draw his blood and greets his doctors with a bright smile. We have also been blessed with extraordinary support from friends and family. …

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