New York mother welcomes kidney for daughter - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

New York mother welcomes kidney for daughter

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NEW YORK (WHDH) - A New York mother welcomed a rare gift this Mother's Day: a kidney for her ill daughter.

These days, Anaya is a typical 3-year-old: a little sweet, a little sassy, and a whole lot of cuteness.

But that's not how her life began. Before she was a year old, doctors diagnosed her with a rare kidney disease, congenital Finnish nephrotic syndrome.

Prolonged blood infusions were keeping her alive.

"The clock was really ticking, and we had to come up with a solution that would involve essentially replacing her kidney function with either a transplant or dialysis," said Dr. Jeffrey Saland, a pediatric nephrologist.

Saland, the chief of Nephrology and Hypertension at Mount Sinai, was responsible for her treatment.

"Typically, the kidneys have to be removed to prevent this massive swelling, or the alternative is long-term infusion," he said.

Doctors said the symptoms can include swelling in the eyes and the feet, but for Anaya, it was something that could only be described as a mother's instinct that tipped her off to the fact that her child was unwell.

"It was a piercing cry. I almost feel like I can hear it now," Ayana Richards said.

Those cries still haunt her today.

"I wrapped her up in a blanket, it was cold...I ran on feet to Harlem Hospital. Her head was swollen as big as a basketball," she said.

Richards volunteered one of her kidneys to her daughter. Life was good for a few hours until her baby developed blood clots that sent her back to the transplant list.

They found a matching donor within months.

"This was a deceased donor. This was a family that lost someone and chose to save someone. I was grateful that it was my child," she said.

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