Zane Westbrook, a 4-year-old from Arkansas, is preparing for his first transplant surgery at the end of the month. First diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome in 2016, Zane’s journey to transplant has been a winding one. His mother, Brandy, explains the how his family will be closer to him than ever before post-transplantation.
“Zane was 17 months old when he came down with a case of croup. He was in the hospital for eight days, but steroids still weren’t working. We were sent home, despite some swelling in his face and belly. A few days later, the swelling increased. We knew something wasn’t right and took him to the emergency room. That’s when our lives changed forever.
Zane was diagnosed in August 2016 with Nephrotic Syndrome. The doctor said it didn’t seem promising for the steroids to work since he had already been on them for two weeks. He was right.
Zane had a kidney biopsy in October 2016, which showed he had FSGS. He was put on Cyclosporine and Lisinopril and taken off steroids at this time. Cyclosporine still really didn’t put in him remission.
A genetic test was done and we found out he had NPHS2 mutation. Eventually, in January 2017, he was stabilized enough and was in a “partial remission.” This lasted for a few years until Spring 2019– that’s when his kidneys started to fail.
Dialysis -PD- started in May 2019. And a bilateral nephrectomy was done in October 2019.
Zane will be receiving a kidney from his father, Kirk! The transplant is scheduled for February 25th at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
Kirk has been selfless throughout this journey. Not only has he willingly donated his kidney, but he lost 60 pounds in just one year to be able to donate it to Zane.
I have always been such an advocate of organ donation, but when you see someone you love go through something so hard it makes you want to advocate harder for organ donation.
Transplant is not a cure for Zane, it’s only a treatment option. We pray hard for better treatment plans for the future, so other kids won’t ever have to have transplants.
Zane is 4 and he will need another transplant in his lifetime. Living donation lasts around 15 -20 years.”
–Brandy Westbrook, Zane’s mother