My child has
Cody was born with VATER syndrome, a combination of birth defects related to the spine, rectum, heart, trachea, esophagus, bones and kidneys. He was given only a 3 percent chance of survival. “I bought a casket and prepared myself that he would not be with us very long,” said Tonya, Cody’s mother.
Cody started peritoneal dialysis at 8 years old. Life revolved around his dialysis. He spent 12 hours every day confined to his room for treatment, isolated from family and friends. This limited his extracurricular school activities, and he didn’t get to spend time playing with friends or riding his horse (his favorite pastime).
“The hardest part was being confined to our own home,” Tonya said. “Our family’s greatest pleasure in life is to saddle-up the horses and go out riding as a family." Cody's strict treatment schedule made that lifestyle tremendously difficult.
Several months into his dialysis, Cody developed peritonitis from an infection at the dialysis site. This can be life-threatening, and Cody had to go on hemodialysis three times per week. Cody needed a kidney, as most people can only remain on dialysis for a limited time without a transplant. “I was counting down time,” Tonya said.
After almost three years of treatment, Cody’s new chance at life arrived.
“I will always remember the day we received the call that they found a match. Receiving this gift was another chance, not just for Cody, but for our entire family,” Tonya said.
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