A baby born with a rare disease that left her looking heavily pregnant has finally received a life-saving kidney donation from her father.
Paul Rybkin and Karen Rodas, from New Jersey, had been trying to have a baby for several years with no luck.
Then, in 2013, tragedy struck when the couple’s son, Nathanial, died just 36 hours after his birth from a rare disease called PKD—which causes serious cysts all over the body and can lead to kidney and liver failure.
After Nathaniel’s tragic death, Paul and Karen learned that they were both carriers for PKD, meaning any children they had could develop the deadly disease.
The couple, who already has a 9-year-old and a 1-year-old at home, decided to try one more time, and soon they discovered they were expecting a baby girl, Maddy.
“When I fell pregnant again, we were both over the moon,” Karen said, according to The Sun. “Then, at our 20 week scan, they found Maddy’s kidneys were enlarged – a sure-sign of PKD, just like Nathaniel. My heart sank.”
After the couple visited a specialist in Philadelphia, Maddy arrived in November 2013, with an extremely bloated belly that made the newborn look like she was already pregnant.
Maddy had to be monitored in the hospital for seven months, but ultimately doctors decided that only a kidney transplant would save her life.
Miraculously enough, Paul turned out to be a match to donate one of his kidneys to his baby girl.
“With Paul and Maddy, two of my most precious souls, going under the knife, my nerves were a wreck,” Karen said. “I kept thinking: ‘What if something happens to them both? How will I cope?'”
In the end, the transplant was an absolute success and Maddy can finally lead a healthy, normal life with her siblings.
Although she will need another kidney transplant in 25 years, the happy toddler is doing great.