Stories about: Dr. Khashavar Vakili

‘She’s a fighter’: Nora’s amazing recovery from surgery for midaortic syndrome

Nora underwent MAGIC for midaortic syndrome

It’s an unseasonably warm February day, and 4-year-old Nora is enjoying the fresh air, immersed in an intense game of “Mother May I?” She’s in the lead, but her friend Jonette Jean-Louis is catching up.

“Nora, you may take four ‘Single Ladies’ steps,” advises Linda Pengeroth. After asking permission, the little girl gleefully skips forward, waving her raised hand in homage to the iconic Beyoncé video. “I won!” she exclaims as she crosses the finish line, a wide smile spreading across her face.

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‘Like night and day’: Kellen’s new kidney

little boy with new kidney
Kellen with his care team: Drs. Michael Ferguson, Asaf Vivante, Heung-Bae Kim and Khashayar Vakili

Like any parent, Brittany Young has scores of photos of her four children, whether they’re celebrating the holidays, visiting Disney World or just goofing around. But it’s a picture of her son Kellen at Boston Children’s Hospital that has the potential to bring tears to a viewer’s eyes. Surrounded by his care team, Kellen sits in his hospital bed, a wide smile on his face. There, amid the stuffed toys and colorful blankets, rests a seemingly innocuous item: a package of Pampers. Yet for Kellen and his family, those diapers mean so much more. They’re a sign that this little boy’s newly transplanted kidney is working just as it should.

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A bond rooted in kidney transplant: Catching up with Ayden and Aubrey

We celebrate National Kidney Month with a look back at a special friendship sparked by kidney transplant.

Close-up of Ayden as a toddler. Ayden was born with polycystic kidney disease and received a kidney transplant.

Ayden was born with polycystic kidney disease.

Close-up of Aubrey as a toddler. She was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome at 4 months old.

Aubrey was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome at 4 months old, and by age 18 months, she had both kidneys removed and was on dialysis.

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Police save lives every day, just not this way — a liver for Sloan

Sloan after her liver transplant pictured next to her living donor, police lieutenant Steve Tenney
Sloan and Lt. Tenney

A police officer’s job is all about action and reaction.

“We see something, react to it and, typically, it’s over quickly,” says Lt. Steve Tenney of the Keene, New Hampshire, Police Department.

But on the morning of Sept. 8, while Steve lay in a hospital bed at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts, action/reaction wasn’t part of the equation. This time, there was time to think. Even so, the decision to donate a piece of his liver to save Sloan — a baby he’d never even met — was made without hesitation.

“I did what anyone would have done,” he says.

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