x
Breaking News
More () »

How two children benefited from the Living Donor Transplant Programat Rady Children's Hospital

For many children at Rady Children’s Hospital, it could take years to receive a kidney, because the wait list is very long.

SAN DIEGO — Harper Linville was born with a rare genetic disorder, which prevented his kidneys from fully developing. By the time he was two and a half years old, he was so sick that he spent months at Rady Children's Hospital.

"When we first got here he was really sick. We were in the ICU for a few weeks. Constant blood draws, 24 hours a day dialysis. He was in bed all the time,” said Chris the father of Harper Linville.

When Harper finally went home, he did dialysis for the next year and a half.  

Harper is one of many children at Rady Children's Hospital who needs a kidney to live a normal life. 

“I didn't really understand at the time," said Benjamin Lopez who was 14 when he was diagnosed with kidney failure and is now 21-years-old. "Once I was in dialysis, I didn't think I was going to get out of it. It was hard being limited on water, what I was going to eat. I had nights where I was crying all the time."

For many children at Rady Children’s Hospital, it could take years to receive a kidney, because the wait list is very long. Currently, there are 23 young patients on the kidney waiting list in San Diego County.

"Most of the time they don't feel like they have a future. They're tied to a machine on dialysis. They don't make it to school on time, they can't interact with their friends. A lot of them can't even think about what they're going to do with the rest of their life,” explained Elizabeth Ingulli, the Medical Director of the Pediatric Transplant Program.

At Rady Children's Hospital, families, friends and even strangers become living donors. There were 11 living donor transplants over the past two years and Wednesday, April 6 they were celebrated.

Benjamin now has his dad's kidney.

"He's my hero for sure. Probably the greatest moment of my life to have that second opportunity," said Benjamin.

Harper's dad was also a match for him. He feels what it's done for his son, after watching his little boy struggle.

"I'm sorry, you’re just grateful you can do that for your kid,” said Chris. "Beforehand he was in speech therapy, he wasn't talking. He wasn't real vocal and after he just blossomed. It was really awesome."

If you’re interested in the transplant program at Rady Children's Hospital, click here

RELATED: 2-year-old discharged from Rady Children's Hospital after 848 days, the longest stay by any patient

RELATED: San Diego doctors perform first ever dual heart-kidney transplant for teenager at Rady Children's Hospital

Watch Related: 2-year-old discharged from Rady Children's Hospital after 848 days, the longest stay by any patient (Apr 5, 2022)

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out