Reggie gets new kidney thanks to hospital collaboration | News

Reggie gets new kidney thanks to hospital collaboration

 Reggie with his kidney plaqueA partnership approach to organ transplant surgery meaning an 11-year-old boy received the perfect kidney.

Birmingham Children’s Hospital and their counterparts at Nottingham Children’s Hospital agreed last year to step in for urgent transplants if ever help was needed, and Reggie was the first to benefit.

Reggie, 11 from Derby, had been on the transplant list for a year, after being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at birth following a blockage in his posterior urethral valves.

Mum, Carlie, said: “We were told about Reggie’s condition when he was born, and he had to have a few operations to clear the blockage, but we knew that he would need a new kidney at some time.

“We joined the transplant list in February 2023, and he started doing dialysis in October, which is six nights a week for 10 hours at a time. Reggie was really grown up when we decided to dialysis at home and was really great with it.”

 Reggie in hospital While Reggie was on the transplant list, Carlie was asked whether, if it was needed, would she be happy for him to have his operation somewhere else, to which she had said yes.

Carlie said: “In February, I got a call at around 5.30am to say there was a kidney for Reggie, we’ve always had bags packed ready since day one, so I woke him and said that we needed to go into the hospital for tests. The hospital said it was the perfect match and it was worth operating even though he had a slight cold.”

 Reggie on the beach with his siblings who are twins However, unfortunately there wasn’t going to be a surgeon available to operate that day.

Dr Ramnath Iyer, Consultant Paediatric Nephrologist at BCH, said: “We’d been speaking to Nottingham in November about sharing information in case there was a time where a surgeon was unavailable, so we could help each other out. It just happened we were able to help Nottingham first, but we’re confident that they would’ve helped us if we needed them.

“They sent us Reggie’s information by email and we were able to read that as Reggie, his mum and the kidney were travelling to us so we were prepared when they arrived.”

Carlie said: “They said that Birmingham could do the operation, and whether we wanted to wait for transport or drive. My car was outside so we drove and treated it like a little road trip.

“We arrived in Birmingham in the afternoon, and filled in paperwork and waited for the kidney I was filling in some paper work at the nurses’ desk around 8pm with the surgeon when a nurse asked him to sign for a box, and in that box was Reggie’s new kidney, it was such a weird moment.”

Reggie’s operation lasted for five hours, and after spending the night in the intensive care unit, he was back up on the ward recovering and was discharged back to Nottingham after just four days.

Carlie said: “It was amazing to keep seeing his creatinine levels dropping by the hundreds and hundreds. Now he is great, he is sleeping better, a lot less tired and his appetite is crazy, I can’t fill him up, where it was hard to get him to eat before.”

Creatinine is a chemical waste product of creatine, which is a chemical made by the body and used to supply energy mainly to muscles. This test is done to see how well the kidneys work., usually Creatinine is removed from the body entirely by the kidneys.

Football mad Reggie is looking forward to getting back to school and to having a kick around with his friends. He still goes into hospital twice a week to check his bloods.

Dr Iyer said: “We’re really pleased to have been able to help Reggie to get his perfect kidney, and are excited to hear that he is doing so well.”

Carlie said: “It is great to see Reggie bouncing around the house. The nurses and surgeon couldn’t have done any more for us, they cared for Reggie and me. They were amazing even if he was grumpy they were able to take care of him.

“If I was to talk to another parent in my shoes, I’d tell them never to rule out going to another hospital if they can help, we were very lucky. This kidney has changed our lives, not just Reggie’s but our whole family’s.”

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