At 5 weeks of age, little Ryker’s kidneys failed, and he was put on perineal dialysis a short week later. Ryker spent the first years of his life hooked up to the machine 12 hours a day. Ryker was unable to develop like a normal toddler, and his family’s daily life revolved around his medical care. When Ryker was 22 months old, he was listed for a kidney transplant at BC Children’s Hospital. Ryker’s dad underwent testing to become his living donor right away in hopes of saving his son.
After 5 long months of preparation and bumps in the road, Ryker’s dad’s donor kidney was successfully transplanted in him on October 4, 2016. Mom, Magda, who had been unable to work since Ryker’s illness could remain the primary caregiver for Ryker in the hospital while Dad, Mark, recovered from the surgery. The David Foster Foundation supported the family with not only the added cost of the transplant expenses but was able to cover their non-medical living expenses they could not cover leading up to, and during the transplant, so the family could focus on Ryker.
Now, three years post-transplant Magda says that “Ryker had been 100% dependant on eating with a gtube and a couple of months ago he participated in a gtube transition clinic and now eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner by mouth! He now only uses the gtube for the hydration/water part of his diet. The eating by mouth is the biggest change – which was, and still is, a huge challenge but we’re so happy with the progress he’s made. Ryker also takes skating, swimming, and horseback riding along with preschool where he has made lots of friends. Interacting with kids his own age is something he didn’t generally get to do a lot of so hearing him talk about his friends and seeing him play is pretty great.”