'For real. You've got a kidney': Fayetteville 9-year old receives kidney transplant after 4-year search

Michael Lozano Image
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Fayetteville boy receives kidney transplant after 4-year search
Fayetteville boy receives kidney transplant after 4-year search

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A four-year search for a kidney donor match has finally led to a successful surgery for a 9-year-old Fayetteville boy.

Jordan Rhodes underwent the six-hour transplant surgery at the Mayo Clinic Monday evening, according to his grandmother, Deborah Jones.

"There's blood flow going to his kidney. The urine is not flowing out as fast as we need it to," Jones said. She said surgeons had to do a complete reconstruction to find a place to attach the new kidney to ensure it received the needed blood.

Fayetteville 9-year-old in desperate need of a kidney finds donor

Jordan, who deals with a long list of health problems, originally received a kidney transplant in 2016; however, his body quickly rejected the organ, leading his family on a desperate four-year search for another match.

Doctors told Jones and other family members that it would be nearly impossible for Jordan to find an exact match and even more unlikely that his body would accept the kidney.

ABC11 has been a part of the Fayetteville family's journey, documenting Jones's 24-hour care of her grandson. The care has consisted of frequent dialysis, administering medication and many hospital visits.

"The pain this baby's gone through. The surgeries this child has gone through, and he has stayed so strong," Jones said.

After years of searching, the family was notified that there was a perfect match. They quickly scheduled an appointment for surgery and now hope this kidney will stay.

Jones recalls a brief conversation she had with Jordan once the surgery was finished. "I said, 'Yes, you got a kidney inside of your body, right now.' And he was like, 'For real?' I'm like, 'Yeah, for real, baby, for real. You got a kidney.'"

Jordan is currently recovering in the ICU. As of Tuesday evening, the family said doctors are giving him medication to raise his blood pressure and keep his blood flowing to the kidney.

They expect to be in the hospital for the next five days and then hope to start the lifetime recovery process.

Jones says, if the kidney transplant is successful, she prays her grandson can start living a normal life. She says Jordan hasn't peed since 2016 and can't really do many outdoor activities.

"He's going to be able to run, and he's going to be able to sweat, and he's going to be able to make friends," Jones said.

If you would like to donate to the Children's Organ Transplant Association campaign, in honor of Jordan, then you can do so at the COTA website.