At her 18 week ultrasound, Kelin and Tyson were excited to learn the gender of their first baby. Instead, they received news that their little boy’s bladder was enlarged. Weekly ultrasounds after that revealed that there was a blockage in his ureters causing kidney damage while his bladder continued to get fuller and fuller. Long before she delivered little Holden, he was in the care of pediatric nephrologists from the Alberta Children’s Hospital who prepared them for a rough beginning for their little man.
After a scheduled C-section at 38 weeks, Holden was whisked to the Alberta Children’s Hospital where he was immediately hooked up to dialysis. Equally alarming, his lungs had not fully matured and he was in significant respiratory distress, as well. That first night was tenuous and at one point, they were considering sending an ambulance to the FMC to fetch Kelin to come to the ACH to say goodbye to her baby. Fortunately, Holden stabilized over the next few critical hours and from there continued to prove to his parents and the team that he was a little fighter.
As his lungs healed and grew, he had up to six chest tubes inserted into his tiny body. Kelin was so relieved that, after weeks of being intubated, he was finally able to breathe on his own and quickly adjusted to sucking on a bottle and taking a soother. Surgeries were also performed to remove the blockages in his ureters. He has only 5% function in one of his kidneys which means he will require a kidney transplant once he’s a little bigger (2 years old). Currently, he is hooked up to dialysis for 11 hours a day. Kelin and Tyson have been trained up to do dialysis and will be able to care for him at home over the next two years in advance of a transplant.
The care they have received at the hospital goes well beyond medical treatment, Kelin says. The nurses genuinely love their little boy. On one particularly rough night for Holden, the ICU nurse sat by his bedside and rubbed his little head all night long to comfort him. When he was transferred to Unit 3, it wasn’t long before his nurses from ICU were coming up for visits and cuddles.
Kelin and Tyson credit the team for getting them through these difficult three months. They are grateful for every day they have with their sweet little boy.