A mother’s love: Son saved with kidney donation
When Brandi Larson was pregnant with her now five-year-old son Alex, she learned he was going to need a kidney transplant. Alex had Caudal regression syndrome, a disorder that impairs the lower development of the body. The kidneys are often malformed.
Without hesitation, Brandi wanted to be his living donor. She had the support of Alex’s dad Neil Larson who was a living donor himself. He donated a kidney to his brother more than 20 years ago.
Brandi and Neil hoped it would be many years before Alex would need the transplant, but his kidneys began to fail in the summer of 2018. A few months later, the transplant successfully happened at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters on Halloween.
“I donated to Alex, not only because he’s my son, because I would’ve donated to anyone I knew. If I can give hope and life to someone in need, I will,” shares Brandi.
“It was a blessing,” Neil says. He remembers the doctors telling him when Alex was born that he would never walk because of the Caudal regression syndrome. Alex has undergone more than 30 surgeries and procedures in his short life. And today, Alex is healthy and running!
“I love seeing Alex running, jumping and being a typical 5-year-old boy, he shows me just how strong he is and that makes me feel as strong,” says Brandi.
“It’s the most fun to have mommy’s kidney,” shares Alex.
Now the family shares the importance of donation wherever they may go. Brandi’s car displays messages of donation. She even has a “Donate Life” tree perched in her window.
“It’s a way of life for her,” Neil proudly shares. Brandi is the biggest advocate for donation.
“If you have the chance to not only save someone’s life, but change it, do it. When you see their whole life change and improve, it’s the most amazing thing you could do,” says Brandi.
National Pediatric Transplant Week is April 19-25.
Currently, more than 1,900 children under the age of 18 are on the national transplant waiting list. More than 600 of the children waiting for transplant are between 1 and 5 years old.
Learn more about living donation.
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