Winston- Salem, NC-- We hear about organ donor stories all the time, and we know it gives so many a second chance at life. But it's not every day that we hear about a 22-month old baby girl as the recipient.
News 2's Liz Crawford talked with a Triad mom about what she calls, "her miracle baby Rose."
After almost two years of caring for her sick baby and doctors telling her, "It's in God's hands," Dana Hedrick-Burnsides got the call she'd been praying for. It came at 2:00 a.m., just two days after Mother's Day, and said "come To Brenner's Children's Hospital. We think we have a match."
For Dana, her Baby Rose has struggled to survive. Born a "renal baby," with failing kidneys, a premature Rose started hemodialysis at just four weeks old.
Dana told News 2, "She was between about 6 and 7 pounds, very, very risky, very risky. Doctors were concerned, we were concerned."
But that was only the beginning of a long and uncertain journey for Baby Rose. With her kidney failure came major complications. Rose could only eat from feeding tubes and her heart became enlarged. Baby Rose spent most of her life at the hospital, everyday touch and go.
"I mean you could have a regular day and go home and ten minutes you've been home and something's happen, she's dehydrated, her fever's up," explained Dana.
Despite the struggle, Baby Rose was a fighter, and Dana hoped the light at the end of the tunnel would come her way. Once she was big enough for the donor list, that light felt a little closer.
This week, after a false alarm in January, they had a kidney match.
"We had Mother's Day on Sunday so this is a late Mother's Day present," Dana said.
Baby Rose is recovering from her nine hour surgery. Doctors say she is making progress, and her parents are setting goals that just days ago were out of reach. The next step is getting Rose to eat normal food.
Baby Rose has her whole life ahead of her, thanks to a donor and the gift of life.
"I'm grateful and I know that they are going through a hardship, but I want them to know, I will take very good care of that kidney, I promise them," said Dana about the donor's family, who she hopes to meet one day and thank in person.
There's no telling how long Baby Rose will stay in the hospital. She's on anti-rejection drugs for life. She's also taking steroids and pain medication while she recovers. It's a lot for a little one, but Rose's parents aren't complaining. They are just grateful for this second shot at life.
Rose's donor, who is from North Carolina saved another child this week. The recipient of the donor's other kidney is also recovering at Brenner's Children's Hospital.
WFMY News 2