A mother in Panama, Iowa is searching for a kidney transplant match for her 9-year-old son.
Joshua Lewis was born with Mitochondrial Disorder – a genetic disorder that affects up to three organ systems. He later also lost his hearing.
“It took almost seven years to start hearing his name. He loves hearing it. And hearing train noise and alarms going off and dogs barking – can hear those things,” said Candace Lewis, Joshua’s mom.
But two years later, Joshua’s health declined again.
During a regular checkup, doctors told Lewis her son’s kidneys were failing him and would need a kidney transplant.
Joshua was put on a waiting list for a new kidney three months ago, but because his blood type is B+, which has the longest wait time, doctors say it could take years.
“It took us a while to get on the transplant list for the fact that he had a genetic disorder. We had to confirm that if got him a new kidney, that his genetics would not alter or hurt the new kidney,” said Lewis. “And we have been assured his genetic disorder cannot alter the new kidney.”
Lewis says now that they’re on a time crunch, there’s no time to waste.
“He’s doing dialysis every night for 11 hours. I’m just scared there will be a day he’s too sick and they’ll take him off the list…and they say there’s nothing they can do. Only dialysis until he passes,” said Lewis. “We just want to go back to enjoying the simple things. Not worrying day to day – is he breathing? It can get scary.”
The family has started a group called ‘Team Joshua’ to support Joshua in his battle to defeat his health problems.
For information on kidney transplants, click here.
You can also follow Team Joshua’s journey.