Dealing with a seriously sick child is something no parent never wants to go through. Ryan and Ashley Wagner’s son Miles was diagnosed with an extremely rare kidney disease and was in desperate need of a kidney donor. After posting a plea online, the couple’s former higher school classmate Elizabeth Wolodkiewicz stepped forward. It turned out she was a match. On February 6, Miles received a new kidney thanks to the generosity and compassion of an acquaintance.
Family Health Issues
Just before finding out he and his wife were expecting their first child in December Ryan Wagner was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Typically, people who receive this type of diagnosis are given five years to live. Until this point, Ryan was a perfectly healthy 29-year-old with no family history of the disease. Ryan’s wife Ashley set up a Facebook page to keep family and friends updated with their uphill battle with cancer. When Miles was born in August 2014, Ryan and Ashley never expected she would include their son’s multiple health issues on the Facebook page. When he was only 8 weeks old, Miles suffered his first seizure. He was rushed to a local hospital then transferred to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. There he was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called primary hyperoxaluria, a condition that affects only 1 in every 100,000 people.
Kidney Donor Needed
Miles needed to start dialysis immediately as his condition was causing organ damage. He was experiencing liver and kidney failure. Ryan and Ashley turned to their Facebook page to ask for liver and kidney donors. After 11 months of being on a wait list, Miles received a liver transplant from a deceased donor. He underwent a 12-hour surgery to receive it, during which he suffered from complications including major arteries clogging. After a six-month recovery, doctors deemed Miles strong enough for a kidney transplant, however, the waiting list could take as long as six years. If left untreated, kidney and bladder stones could develop resulting in renal disease, which can prove fatal as the body cannot filter out waste and water properly.