Saturday, May 26, 2018

Maliyah's Kidney Transplant

Before Transplant

Several weeks ago, we announced Maliyah was officially having a kidney transplant.  Though it has kept many of you in suspense, we are very happy to announce the kidney transplant has not only happened already, but that it went far better than we could have ever expected!

To preface, this kidney transplant holds particular importance because surgeons knew it would be Maliyah's last one-- only two kidneys can fit in a person's body, and this transplant would fill the last available spot.  In other words, this was Maliyah's last chance.  A kidney failure now would leave no other option-- you can imagine everybody's yearning that everything would go well.  Additionally, the length of the surgery would probably require Maliyah to have a breathing tube afterwards, a situation that makes recovery uncomfortable and speaking impossible.

Maliyah was admitted to the hospital the night before the surgery (May 23rd) so she could be monitored and started on important medicines.  Our friend Anabelle and her sister, Katelyn, came up to Primary Children's so Katelyn could braid Maliyah's hair.  That night, our Grandpa came up and stayed with Maliyah overnight.

Before Transplant
In the morning, Mom got a little anxious and accidentally left Kendra at the house since she was in such a rush to comfort Maliyah before surgery.  (Don't worry, Kendra got a ride from Grandma later)  Our friend Anabelle, our mom's parents, and our dad's mom all came up in the morning before the surgery.  Anabelle and Kendra stayed all day while Maliyah was in surgery.  The surgery was originally scheduled to start about 9 am and to end around 9 pm.  Before then, everybody talked quietly in Maliyah's hospital room and prayed for everything to go well.

Promptly on schedule, Maliyah was wheeled back for surgery around 8:20 am on May 24th.  Saying goodbye to Maliyah before surgery was difficult for everybody, and everyone cried.  We knew the surgeons would do well, though.  After that, everybody except Maliyah went to the waiting room expecting news.

At 9:20, surgeons made the first incision.  Around this same time, Anabelle and Kendra went to orthopaedics for Kendra's appointment.  Kendra's back had been bothering her since the beginning of the week, and she needed an X-ray.  The X-ray revealed Kendra had broken the rod in her back, though not too severely.  She goes in for surgery next week.

While Anabelle and Kendra were scheduling her surgery and picking up medicine from the pharmacy, everybody else received the news that the kidney was just walked over from the donor, and the arteries and veins all looked perfect for Maliyah.  Soon after, at eleven in the morning, everybody received the astonishing and absolutely wonderful news that surgeons were able to remove Maliyah's old transplant and reconnect the new kidney in the same place.  This means Maliyah has another chance-- that there was no ultimatum or shortage of options for the future.  The fact they were able to reconnect it in the same place was a genuine miracle.  Our grandparents left the hospital around this time.

Maliyah Recovering
Further, at 1 pm, surgeons announced the surgery was going much more quickly than originally estimated, and that Maliyah would not need a breathing tube.  Following that news, everybody found out Maliyah's intestines were scarred together in a way that made it so they would "wake up" more quickly after the surgery.  She would not have to go for quite so long without eating and drinking.  One of the main surgeons, Dr. Cartwright, drew a diagram for everybody of the surgery up until that point.

At 4:30, surgeons informed everyone the surgery could not have gone better, and that it would only be about 10 minutes before they started to close her up, an hour before she was out of the operating room, and two hours until she was awake and able to see everybody.  At 5:48, she was officially closed up, and at 6:20 we received the surprising call that Maliyah was already wide awake and even asking for everybody to come see her.  Everybody quite literally ran to the recovery room, where Maliyah was in a lot of pain, but okay.

Yesterday, Friday, was a difficult day for Maliyah in terms of pain.  Although recovery will be long, we are so thankful for the opportunities this new kidney will give Maliyah.  She will be able to have the foods she missed (particularly chocolate milk), have an extra 9-12 hours every week without dialysis, and even be able to swim again!  Thank you all for your support on this journey with us.

Kendra & Maliyah
~The Herrin Twins~