Shortly after his birth on Aug. 29, 2017, at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Happy Valley baby Henry Parker was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, along with swallowing problems and a heart murmur.
An intensive-care team was on standby because his prenatal ultrasound showed Henry had fluid buildup in both of his kidneys. Shortly after birth, a blood test showed that he was in renal failure and was transferred to intensive care for the first month of his life. Henry had his first surgery to place a feeding tube when he was only a week old.
Henry's doctors made it clear to his parents, Moah and Brock Parker, that their son was going to need a kidney transplant or dialysis in the near future. Thankfully, his kidneys had enough function allowing him to grow and thrive for the past two years in combination with a special diet through his feeding tube and numerous medications throughout the day.
With multiple surgeries to preserve his remaining kidney function and numerous trips to the ER, Henry reached what his doctors considered to be an appropriate size for the kidney transplant.
Three days before Henry's second birthday, he was referred to his transplant surgeon. His mother and father were evaluated as potential donors and found out that Henry's mother was a match. Henry received a second chance at life on Dec. 10, thanks to the medical team at Oregon Health & Science University hospital and the kidney he received from his mother.
Henry's journey ahead includes special diets, medications, lifelong immunosuppressants and potential additional transplants throughout his life.
The family has asked for assistance from the Children's Organ Transplant Association. Happy Valley volunteers are raising $50,000 for COTA to assist with transplant-related expenses. All funds raised for COTA in honor of patients assist with a lifetime of transplant-related expenses.
COTA is the nation's only fundraising organization solely dedicated to raising life-saving dollars in honor of transplant-needy children and young adults. COTA's services are free to families, and gifts to COTA are tax-deductible.
Contributions may be sent to the Children's Organ Transplant Association, 2501 W. COTA Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403. Checks should be made payable to COTA, with "In Honor of Henry's Journey" written on the memo line. Secure credit card gifts are accepted online at COTAforHenrysJourney.com.
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