LOS ANGELES (CBS News) - A toddler battling end stage kidney disease got the life line he needed and, as it turns out, the match came from his mom.
The first year of three-year-old Maverick Morrell’s life was filled with hospital and doctors’ visits.
“We were in the ER all the time,” his mom, Alexandra, says.
Maverick was diagnosed with stage five chronic kidney disease. Both of his kidneys were too small, covered in cysts, and not functioning properly.
“I felt like I failed him in some way in trying to, you know, give him everything that he needed for a successful life,” Alexandra says.
He ended up on dialysis before his first birthday. His parents were told it was a temporary but necessary solution and that a kidney transplant was inevitable.
“Every single night he did six hours of dialysis,” Alexandra says.
For almost a year, while Maverick had his dialysis, his parents patiently waited for him to gain weight and grow in order to be eligible for a transplant. Then the search for a donor began. Both Maverick’s parents were tested. They found out first that Garry, Maverick’s dad, was not a good match.
Then came the good news. Alexandra had the opportunity to give her son the gift of life, again.
“I found out I was a match in November. He was listed in December,” she says.
Dr. Rachel Lestz is the medical director of the Kidney Transplant Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
“Children, even small children like Maverick, can receive a kidney from an adult,” Lestz says. “The main issue actually has to do with blood vessels, and making sure that the blood vessels in their body is big enough to accommodate the blood vessels from the kidney of an adult.”
It’s been seven months since Maverick’s transplant and he’s thriving. According to his mom, he is more verbal and more active.
The family is grateful for every moment they are now able to enjoy together.
About 100,000 people are currently on the kidney transplant waiting list.