12 Days of Giving – The Story of Baby Natalee
Our Journey …. Our Fight! My name is Katelyn and I am the mother of a beautiful baby girl, Natalee. I found out that Natalee was missing her right kidney when I went for a gender ultrasound. My doctor ended up sending me to Annapolis to ensure that everything would be okay with Natalee. I am sure you can understand my concern and fears! As her mother I wanted my baby to be perfect!
February 1, 2016 Natalee made her arrival and 24 hours later they did a test called a VCUG; the test results came back, and she had a grade 5 reflux (hydronephrosis). Big words for such a little girl.
Natalee’s doctors have had her on antibiotics as a preventive measure since day one. The beginning of April came, and Natalee was burning up (she felt like she was sunburned.) We immediately went to Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC) where they discovered that she had a very bad UTI.
Natalee was placed on antibiotics to treat the infection and medicine for her fever, it still wouldn’t break so we were flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital. When we arrived, we also found out that Natalee had a kidney infection which eventually the infection got into her blood stream causing her to have sepsis. We almost lost Natalee by the skin on our teeth. I didn’t lose hope and Natalee didn’t stop fighting! She had a few blood transfusions as well as a transfusion for platelets. After about four weeks we were able to come home.
Natalee ended up having high potassium because of the infection; she was hospitalized and transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital a few more times after the last incident due to high potassium. She is on a special formula that you can only order online called Similac 60/40. In July we went to our hospital (PRMC) and was transferred to Johns Hopkins once again for a UTI. While at Johns Hopkins they did an ultrasound on her kidney to check on it; they saw a lot of debris which required surgery to have a Nephrostomy tube placed in her kidney to drain into her diaper, this is also how she uses the bathroom to urinate. The nephrostomy tube was only temporary till November.
Natalee has pulled her nephrostomy tube out several times leaving us multiple trips to Johns Hopkins for more surgeries just to have the tube placed back in. November 21, 2016 came, and Natalee was finally big enough to have her ureter reconstructed. The purpose of the reconstruction was to fix the reflux of her kidney, so she can use the bathroom regularly and not get urinary tract infections as well as kidney infections. Since February 16, 2017 we have not had one hospital visit/stay since her surgery. This first year of Natalee’s life was not easy by any means! In the beginning of March 2017 Natalee had another VCUG done to see if her surgery was a success.
Unfortunately, after her VCUG was done, her surgery was not successful. Up until April of 2018, we had a lot of hospital visits and stays due to urinary tract infections. On April 10, 2018 she had the same procedure done with a different surgeon. Finally, on July 18, 2018 we went for a visit to see if this surgery worked and it did!
Natalee no longer has kidney reflux! What a relief! We followed up with the urologist and we no longer have to go and see them unless Natalee has any further complications. We can now enjoy living a normal two-year-old life outside of the hospital. We do get ultrasounds done to her kidneys every three months to make sure there is no swelling.
I am grateful to the support of the National Kidney Foundation! For more information about the resources and support they offer visit www.kidneymd.org.
Won’t you please help families like mine and make an IMPACT today? YOU can be a beacon of LIGHT & HOPE for those who suffer with kidney disease. Your donation will make a difference in our community.
DONATE TODAY – there are only a few hours left to make your meaningful year-end gift and accelerate the pace of our work locally in 2019! Will you join me?