If you saw 5-year-old Kyle Morrison now, you would have no idea he’s been fighting for his life, his whole life.
Now, he loves playing outside and coloring and riding his tricycle. But just a month ago, Kyle wasn’t able to live a normal life.
That’s because his kidneys were only functioning at 13 percent.
Kyle was diagnosed with posterior urethral valve when his mom, Loren Morrison, was only 18 weeks pregnant.
“He had an obstruction in his urethra that would stop him from urinating and it would back up into his kidneys, causing significant kidney damage,” Loren said.
That damage to his kidneys started in the womb.
“They [doctors] didn’t know if he was going to make it and my biggest fear was his dad not getting to meet him,” Loren said.
She had to tell the scary news to her husband, Shane, who was overseas in Iraq fighting with the army at the time.
“The doctors said he’d be on dialysis or need a transplant before I even got home from Iraq,” Shane said.
“It was hard, it was really hard,” Loren agreed. “It ran through my head: was this my fault?”
And that damage has been getting worse ever since. When he was down to 13 percent kidney function, Kyle could no longer live a normal 4-year-old’s life.
“We had to handle him differently, he’d go from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye and the way the doctor explained it was that he was very tired,” Loren said.
Instead, Kyle’s life consisted of sleeping, taking medicines, and going to doctor’s appointments.
That is, until doctors found Kyle’s perfect match for a new kidney was right at home: his dad.
Shane said it was a no-brainer to find out if he was a match for his son.
It took from February to June to make sure Shane would be the right donor, but when it was officially determined he was a match, the family didn’t wait long.
Shane gave his kidney to Kyle on July 24.
“Of all the things Kyle goes through, I can do this, it’s not that big of a deal,” Shane said.
Now, both father and son are recovering even better than expected!
“He can keep up with his brother now, he’s been doing great ever since!” Loren exclaimed.
Kyle told ABC 17 News his kidneys no longer hurt, and he can now go to the bathroom on his own.
He’s also able to eat as much of his favorite food, oranges, as he wants — which he wasn’t able to do before the transplant.
There are still lots of medicines to take and doctors to visit. And Kyle will need a new kidney in 20-25 years.
But Kyle isn’t letting any of that slow him down now that he feels better. He lovingly calls his scar on his belly his “crack”, and his parents hope that crack is an inspiration to other people to donate organs to the nearly 124,000 people waiting on organs right now.
“When someone can be an organ donor and they do, it’s giving the gift of a longer life and it’s amazing,” Loren said.
“Everybody’s got two kidneys, so why is it that there’s this list at all?” Shane wondered.
Shane said the decision to give his son his kidney was the best decision he ever made.
“I realize that everything I’ve ever done in life has lead me to this so that couldn’t be any better,” Shane said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
The Morrisons said the thoughts and prayers from people all over the world left on Kyle’s Facebook page helped get them through.
You can leave a message for the family there, or help the family with some of their hospital bills here.
Kidney transplants cost an average of $292,000. The family will have to pay for that as well as the $6,000 racked up in doctors’ visits just from January to May to get ready for the kidney.
But the Morrisons aren’t concerned about their bills. Instead they’re counting their blessings.
“I think we’ve realized we’ll be in debt our whole lives, but it doesn’t matter as long as Kyle is healthy,” Loren said.