2015 Transplant and Organ Donation Calendar: Kameron Pryne
A transplant journey often involves the love and support of the entire family, but in 11-year-old Kameron Pryne's case, he also had his father's own transplant experience to help him along.
Kameron's dad, Jake, experienced kidney failure and received a kidney transplant as a teenager.
Because of their family history, Kameron's kidney function was tested every two years. Within that span of time, Kameron began to feel ill. He experienced severe headaches that would wipe him out for an entire day, and he wasn't gaining any weight. His doctors thought he may be struggling with allergies.
His parents, Jake and Amanda, decided to take him in early to have his kidney function tested, and in July 2013 he was diagnosed with stage five kidney failure. Amanda recalls, "Suddenly everything made sense – the lower energy and decreased appetite, loss of interest and sports, and him always feeling cold. Now we knew what we were dealing with."
Jake's initial response was to contact his own transplant coordinator, Beth Gerndt-Spaith, RN, whom he'd known since his teens. "Amanda and I were relieved we could have Beth serve as Kameron's coordinator too," said Jake. By October, Kameron was listed on the transplant waiting list and he received his new kidney on December 30, 2013.
For Beth, this was the first time she had cared for both a parent and their child. "I had the opportunity to watch Jake grow and lead a full life," says Beth. "I remember when he got married and started his own family, and I'm thankful I can be here to help care for Kameron now too."
Since his transplant, Kameron is back to his old self. His mom says, "His moods are so much better and he's just so funny!" Their entire family is very active, and Kameron is thrilled to be able to play outside, enjoy playing baseball, goof around with his little sister, Hayden, and just be a kid again.
The UW Health Transplant Program keeps their adult and pediatric programs connected, so a pediatric patient can stay with the same coordinator into adulthood. According to Beth, this is a big advantage for a transplant recipient. "Because patients don't have to switch coordinators, clinics or facilitates, we know they are not going to get lost in the system," says Beth "They have the benefit of receiving continued care at the same clinic, through the same program and with the same coordinator."
For Kameron, having his dad understand what he was going through helped him know everything was going to be OK. It was reassuring for him to see that he, like his father, would grow into a healthy, normal adult. For his family, having Beth there again greatly helped them through another transplant journey.