A grateful north-east family has thanked medics following their son’s life-saving kidney transplant.
He and his younger brother Samuel were both struck down by the E.coli bug in May last year, which caused Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome – an illness that affects the blood and blood vessels, resulting in anaemia and kidney failure.
In a terrifying episode for the family, both boys were hospitalised then transferred to the RHC in Glasgow for kidney dialysis.
While Samuel luckily made a full recovery, 8 -year-old Leo was in hospital for more than two months before being moved onto three times weekly kidney dialysis in August.
The family relocated from Moray to Glasgow to be near the hospital and family.
Life saving transplant
Mother Louise was quickly identified as a potential match for Leo and the operation was carried out in the middle of February.
The service was only able to continue throughout the pandemic as a result of strict protocols allowing surgeries to go ahead at pre-pandemic levels.
Mrs McFaulds said: “To have both boys struck down with the same illness and both having lifesaving treatment at the same time was harrowing. It was an awful time for our family as it came on so suddenly.
“Thankfully Samuel recovered relatively quickly, but Leo went from being a typical happy, healthy boy, who played in the garden with his brother and attended school, to being completely hospital-bound and unable to fully engage with normal life.
“I was naturally over the moon when we found I was a match, and despite the pandemic, from then on everything in the transplant work up process seemed to go like clock-work.”
We will always be grateful to the wonderful renal surgeons, doctors and nurses there.
She praised the staff, adding: “The team at the RHC were determined to get the transplant completed as soon as possible.
“We know the NHS have been under enormous pressure because of Covid-19 but never once did we feel Leo’s care had been compromised in any way and I think that’s testament to the professionalism of staff at the RHC.
“We will always be grateful to the wonderful renal surgeons, doctors and nurses there.”
Optimistic for Leo’s future
Mrs McFaulds is optimistic about Leo’s future despite the challenges ahead.
She added: “Leo will always have kidney disease, and Samuel and myself will have follow up for some time to come.
“We know there will be bumps in the road ahead, but to look back six months, to compare where we are now it’s a miracle really.
“Leo now has his life back and we’ll be counting the small milestones – going back to school, going swimming and maybe even a holiday – as victories and we will never take any of these happy family moments for granted in future.”
Dr Ben Reynolds, consultant paediatric nephrologist at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, who leads the transplant service said: “It is fantastic to see Leo recovering well and full of energy again, full of eight- year-old mischief and silliness.
“At RHC we’re lucky to be one of only two children’s kidney transplant centres in the UK able to maintain a full schedule of renal transplants throughout the pandemic.”