The Journey of Sydney the Kidney

When Helen Moore was born, a light was brought in the Moore Family. Yet little did they know that their newest child’s health was about to have many complications.

Young Helen was soon diagnosed with kidney failure.

“They found out, that my kidneys were failing,” Helen said. “And apparently, it’s crazy that I was  still alive and not in a coma because my condition was so bad.”

Helen’s father, Chris Moore, had a suspicion that there was something wrong when Moore was born. However, he didn’t quite know what it was.

“She’s a little different,” Chris Moore said. “It started out that way when she was a little baby and we knew something was a little different. She would go to the middle of the room and just sit there and not crawl around like other babies.”

Helen said that as a baby she didn’t feel like she had much energy to do anything, although she knew how to do everything that any other baby would know how to do.

After Helen’s parents went to the pediatrician to voice their concerns, the doctor didn’t believe them.

“My mom knew something was wrong with me as a baby,” Helen said. “But she kept telling the pediatrician, she kept telling the doctor, and they kept just kept thinking that she was a crazy mom.”

Despite this, Helen’s parents kept pursuing their concerns to doctors, until they met a doctor who could help them.

“When I was one, I think it was November 6, 2003, I received the [kidney] transplant because I had two failing kidneys,” Helen said. “They actually don’t know the reason why they failed. I personally just think I was born with two bad kidneys.”

During her diagnosis, Helen’s parents were concerned about what was going to happen to their newborn.

“She had six different surgeries, trying to get different types of catheters to work because they’re not designed for babies. that was really stressful,” said Elizabeth Moore, Helen Moore’s mom.

Elizabeth Moore was the kidney donor for Helen.

“We had to go spend a month in the hospital,” Chris More said.

After seeing the doctor, the Moore’s were given an answer as to what had happened to their daughter. The doctors informed them that they would have to put Helen Moore on dialysis to help remove the waste build-up in her kidneys.

“Helen was put on the haemodialysis because her blood was so toxic that her kidneys were not working,” Chris Moore said.

In order for Helen Moore to get the proper treatment she needed her parents did everything that the doctors said they needed to do, including transforming her bedroom.

“We turned her bedroom into a dialysis clinic,” Elizabeth Moore said. “Basically we had all this complicated equipment and we’d have to put her on it for 12 hours at a time every night. And a nurse would come at night and watch her sleep and make sure she didn’t get tangled up in the equipment.”

Before Helen could get off of the dialysis, she had to have a kidney donation, and her mom was excited to be considered as the donor.

Elizabeth Moore hoped that she could be her daughter’s kidney donor, but the doctors needed to run medical tests to make sure that she was healthy enough.

After six months of waiting, the Moore’s were informed of the state of Elizabeth’s kidney.

“Finally Elizabeth got approved for a kidney transplant,” Chris Moore said.

After Helen received the kidney transplant from her mom, she needed to be on peritoneal dialysis.

The process of peritoneal dialysis included cleaning her kidneys, and making them less toxic, which lasted about three or four months.

After receiving the kidney treatment and recovering from the kidney failure, Helen as well as her parents said that her body changed dramatically.

“My body was more puffy than most kids because I had so much excess fluids throughout my body, but once I went on dialysis it was all drained and then I looked almost hollow,” Helen Moore said. “It’s kind of crazy.”

Helen still had more work to do, even after draining fluids and recovering.

“Helen had to go through a lot of therapy to get her caught up because she was behind developmentally and couldn’t walk or talk,” Elizabeth Moore said.

After the therapy that Helen had to take, her parents were excited about her progress.

“She just blew past all the goalposts pretty fast and caught up with all her peers,” Elizabeth said. “We were really pleasantly surprised. We were expecting brain damage.”

Once Helen got the medicine she needed, she showed extreme progress.

“Helen was like getting a turbocharger and she just took off,” Chris Moore said.

After all the treatment Helen says that she feels like any other kid. Her mother agrees to say that she now thinks that Helen has a normal life, there are no more emergencies.

“You get pampered, you know,” Catherine Moore, Helen’s sister, said during the lighthearted conversation.
After all the hardships that the Moore Family went through, Helen is now a vibrant 15-year-old and able to joke about her kidney. She has begun to refer to her kidney by its “jazzy” rhyming name, “Sydney the Kidney.”