Sunshine on a Ranney Day and Make-a-Wish Foundation GA have teamed up once again to provide an exciting room makeover for an amazing young man who has defeated all odds not only once, but twice! He is a living, breathing, handsome, bike riding, tennis playing miracle! We’d like to introduce Andrew. Andrew is an identical twin. At twenty weeks gestation it was determined that he and his twin brother Thomas were experiencing twin to twin transfusion syndrome. It was recommended at that time that his parents consider “selective elimination” via choosing to “eliminate” one of the twins and allow the other baby to grow healthier. They were told that if selective elimination was not considered, Thomas would probably die shortly after birth due to an enlarged heart and Andrew would probably be quadriplegic, because he had so little amniotic fluid. Despite advice from a team of compassionate expert physicians, the family decided to choose faith and hope for both babies and soon experienced their first miracle. The babies were born on March 12, 2002, at 29 weeks gestation. Shortly after birth, Andrew’s kidneys began to fail. Fortunately, during his weeks in the NICU, his creatine levels stabilized and his kidneys began functioning normally. The twins were released from the hospital at 7 ½ weeks. Thomas was followed by a cardiologist for one year and Andrew was followed by a nephrologist for one year and they were both declared healthy-no surgeries, and no medications. Both boys developing into amazing young men; truly a miracle!
On the boys' 12th birthday, the family left California and set out for a cross country adventure with a new life planned in Atlanta. Shortly after the move, the family received devastating news after a visit to their new pediatrician. When Dr. William Smith was told that Andrew had protein in his urine for the past two years he insisted on extensive lab work and a visit to the nephrologist. Dr. Batisky examined Andrew and had more lab work ordered, but felt everything would be fine. Andrew showed no outward signs of kidney failure. He was active in gymnastics, his blood pressure was normal and he didn’t have any swelling.
About a week later, Dr. Batisky called the family with shocking news: Andrew was in advanced kidney failure. The next few months were filled with endless doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds and numerous blood draws. The results indicated that Andrew’s kidneys were about the size of a 3 year olds. They were sufficient for the first 12 years of his life, but as he approached puberty, they could not keep up. He needed a transplant. Andrew’s energy level was going downhill quickly and he no longer had the vigor for gymnastics. Just keeping up with homework was getting more and more challenging as he was just too tired. Both of Andrew's parents were tested to be donors, and although his dad was an excellent match, his kidney was too large for Andrew. With Andrew's kidneys now functioning at 5%, time was running out.
Again, Andrew received a miracle when he and his dad were put into matched donor program and within days, Andrew received a new kidney from amazing 28 year old donor, who was donating his kidney in honor of his mom at Emory. Within one week of surgery, Andrew was back home. By week two, he was starting to ride his bike and by the third week, he was begging to go swimming! Although he has to take a plethora of medications, endures regular blood draws and doctors must monitor the efficiency of his kidney, this happy, energetic 13 year old is excelling! He is on track in eighth grade, playing tennis and like all teens loves gaming.
We’d like to make Andrew’s days a whole lot brighter, with the help from Make a Wish GA, by giving him an amazing room make over in which four walls will be transformed into an exhilarating gaming oasis! Andrew's bedroom reveal will be in Woodstock on November 18th at 6pm.