Kidney transplant wait over for 9-year-old boy

March 14, 2013 7:13:19 PM PDT
The long wait is over for a northwest Indiana family.

Nine-year-old Blake Laudenber has been waiting eight years for a kidney and a perfect match was found Thursday, on National Kidney Day.

Blake was scared about going into Thursday's surgery, to the point that he was almost hoping it would be cancelled.

Now, Blake's family is truly grateful to the grieving family that donated the kidney of a loved one.

"Thank you so very much," Blake's grandmother Cindy Loudenber said. "It feels like part of their family is living in Blake and he might not make it without it."

Blake's family learned Tuesday there is a perfect kidney match, but did not tell him until Thursday morning.

He is 42 inches tall, and now it is expected he will grow and catch up to his age.

Blake has polycystic kidney disease and has been on dialysis since he was three weeks old.

Every night he would spend 11 hours on dialysis. It was fitting that on World Kidney Day that he received his new kidney.

"World Kidney Day is an ironic day to get it," said pediatric nurse Karen Mowinski. "He is a very lucky little guy."

The 9-year-old's first transplant was when he was 2 years old, but his body rejected it.

On March 10, the hospital thought they had a perfect kidney for him but it was not a match. That changed on Tuesday.

"He had antibody levels, so his body had a lot of things in his blood that made him reject kidneys and we gave him something called an anti-an antibody profile which was the worst I have ever seen, plus he is very young," surgeon Dr. Yolanda Becker.

"I think there's just a lot of emotions, scared and really excited. I think once he gets out we will feel better," said Kelly Rey, Blake's aunt.

The family says they can't wait for the surgery to be over and for Blake to be able to go home, and that he's looking forward to hamburgers, pizza, all kinds of sports, but especially basketball.

The surgery was performed at New Center for Care and Discovery at University of Chicago Medicine.

Blake's family said he is doing well and resting comfortably Thursday night.