Ayden was born with polycystic kidney disease.
Playing youth hockey and Little League in the spring of 1988, I started to become easily fatigued. I became very weak and could no longer run around. By May, a visit to my pediatrician resulted in a trip to the Boston Children’s Hospital Cardiology Clinic on Fegan 6 and the first of many cardiac catheterizations I would receive in my life.
The results of that first procedure were shared in my corner room across from the nurses’ station on 6 East (the cardiac step-down at the time): I would need a heart transplant for cardiomyopathy. It was Friday the 13th. I was 10 years old. …
I’ve had asthma and chronic lung disease since I was very young. I had to use everything — from my head to my toes — to help me breathe. I remember being able to hear myself wheezing, to feel my lungs rattling. I had marks all over my face from my oxygen mask. I thought I would never be clear of mucus and never be able to walk without being out of breath.
All I ever wanted was to breathe. …
Many children wait months — and sometimes years — for a transplant, but thanks to the generosity of living donors, some kids don’t have to wait. Read about the lives and futures of four children saved by living donation.
Helping Sloan live up to her name
Without Lt. Steve Tenney, 7-month-old Sloan wouldn’t be nursing, beginning to roll over on her own or meeting other milestones. “I did what anyone would have done,” says Tenney, who donated a piece of his liver when Sloan was only 5 months old.
“Sloan means ‘warrior,’” her mom, Sarah says. “We didn’t think she’d need to be a warrior at such a young age — but she showed us she is.” Read more about Sloan’s liver transplant.