Indiana boy gets rare kidney transplant

In most ways, 9-year-old Blake Loudenber is a typical kid. He loves sports and loves eating Big Macs.  He plays basketball for his elementary school in Griffith, Indiana.

But Blake has had a very difficult childhood. He had a kidney transplant at the age of 2, which his body rejected.  For more than six years of dialysis, he has been patiently waiting for a new kidney.  On Tuesday night, his family got the call.  Someone died on Tuesday and that person’s kidney was a perfect match.

Wearing matching t-shirts that said ‘Blake is our miracle,’ his family waited patiently at the brand new Center for Care and Discovery at University of Chicago Medicine.  The surgery was a success.

“This kind of a miracle happens because a person and their family made the decision to donate organs in the first place and there are always donors needed , particularly kidneys.  That’s one of the highest lists,” said nurse practitioner Karen Mowinski.

Blake is a difficult candidate for a new kidney not only because of his blood type but because he has built up high levels of antibodies since his body rejected his first kidney transplant.

“Despite the fact that thousands and thousands of people responded, of those people, nobody matched,” said Dr. Yolanda Becker, Director, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program.

Dr. Yolanda Becker is cautiously optimistic about today’s transplant.

Blake’s family has a simple message for the person who donated his or her kidney.

“Thank you so very much, “said Cindy Loudenber, Blake’s Grandmother.  “The support we’ve gotten from everyone has been unbelievable”

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