Boy, 2, Desperate for Second Kidney Transplant

Just five months after receiving a kidney from a stranger, complications forced doctors to remove the donated organ

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Just five months after receiving a kidney from a stranger, complications forced doctors to remove the donated organ.Now 2-year-old Nathan Saavedra and his family are thrown back into their medical nightmare. (Published Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011)

    A Carpentersville family is hoping miracles can come twice.

    Just five months after receiving a kidney from a stranger, complications forced doctors to remove the donated organ.

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    Now 2-year-old Nathan Saavedra and his family are back in their medical and financial nightmare.

    "It’s very shocking, very scary," said the boy's mother, Tina Saavedra. "It’s heartbreaking to see him in pain."

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    Doctors said the complication was due to a side effect from Prune Belly Syndrome, which caused Nathan's kidneys to fail. It also caused a connective tissue problem, allowing the new kidney to float around in his enlarged abdomen. 

    "What happened is the kidney twisted on itself and obstructed his blood supply," explained   Children’s Memorial Hospital transplant surgeon Riccardo Superina.

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    Now the toddler is back on dialysis and the donor waiting list.  Children get priority, but it could take weeks, months, or a year before a match is found.  And the fact there were problems with the first kidney, could limit the search for a second organ, said Superina.

    Medicaid is paying for the procedures, but the boy's medical hardship is now turning into a financial one.

    "Financially, we’re a mess," said Tina Saavedra.

    The family has taken their search for a donations and a new donor to Facebook, launching a page called Nathan Saavedra's Fight.

    "I am asking anyone that can help us to donate to help our family get through this hard time," said Tina Saavedra.

    Her cell phone was just shut off Wednesday because she couldn't pay the bill, she said.

    Their home is 90 minutes from Children’s Memorial, and Nathan will have to keep going back and forth for dialysis and follow-up treatments.  The father is unemployed and at home with the family’s two other children while mom stays with Nathan at the hospital.

    "Truly he is a fighter," said Tina Saavedra of her son.  But "to start over and do this again is extremely hard."

    Facebook: Nathan Saavedra's Fight