Family Pushes for Organ Donations as Baby Battles Kidney Disease
SANGER, Calif. (KMPH) —
If you've never given much thought to organ donation when you get a driver's license or identification card, one Sanger family is hoping you'll reconsider.
That's because doctors have told the family its six-week-old daughter needs a new kidney, to live past her first year.
"When I held her, I couldn't believe she was mine. It felt so good, knowing this is my little girl," says Amando Silva, baby Melody Silva's father.
At first glance, baby Melody looks perfect, with ten little fingers and ten little toes.
But if you take take a closer look, you'll see she is wearing a catheter to prevent blood clots.
"She has no idea what's going on," says Melody's mother Nikole Gallardo. "She's such a happy baby. You would never think she's battling a disease, ever."
Baby Melody is battling Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome.
In simplest terms, she has defective kidneys.
Her body is not able to hold onto proteins.
Those are released in urine.
She goes through about 13 diapers a day.
Doctors have said she needs a kidney transplant, in her first year.
"Your heart drops," says Gallardo. "If she doesn't respond well or if it gets worse, they will take both her kidneys out and she will be on dialysis."
The family makes trips to Children's Hospital in Madera County three times a week so she can receive six-hour treatments.
Her parents are also giving her medicine at home.
They keep a schedule posted on the wall.
Gallardo says that along with caring for baby melody, they want to raise awareness of organ donation.
"You don't need your organs once you've passed away. Someone else can benefit from them and live from it, especially a baby," Gallardo says.
The family is also using social media to spread the word.
Prayers are pouring in from all over the country, from Arizona to Washington D.C.
The family is also selling bracelets to raise money.
It's accepting donations of diapers and gas money.
If you'd like to buy a bracelet or make a donation, you can call the family at 559-907-9319.
You can learn more about organ donation by clicking here.