Almost a week into her post-kidney transplant life, 9-year-old Evie Wentz is gritting through the surgical pain with Disney movies, Harry Potter books and a steady regimen of blowing bubbles.
The Whispering Pines girl received a kidney from 31-year-old Jennifer Trapp of Sanford last Tuesday. Both Wentz and Trapp weathered the surgery, conducted at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, but Evie ran a slight fever for the first couple of days afterward.
The Sandhills Farm Life fourth-grader has needed a kidney transplant the last two years. She was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome and hospitalized in December 2012 for almost three months for acute kidney failure. Since then, she has been on dialysis, conducted at night by her parents while she sleeps.
Trapp stepped forward as a possible donor last summer after hearing about Evie’s plight. Her husband, Tim Trapp, was at the hospital Tuesday while her kidney was removed and told a family spokesman the process was “nerve racking.”
“She has always wanted me to take her on a cruise,” he said. “I am definitely taking her on a cruise after this.”
Following the surgery, Evie complained of soreness from the incision and ran a slight fever, her father Tyler Wentz wrote on a blog updating his daughter’s medical odyssey.
Medical tests are showing Evie’s new kidney working well.
“We’re keeping a close eye on (the fever,)” he wrote, “but it hasn’t increased, so our collective paranoia is diminishing.
“Evie had done well enough during the day yesterday that in the evening she was transferred out of (intensive care) to the regular floor of the children's hospital! This was at least a day earlier than we thought it would happen. Before bed, I helped Evie take tiny shuffle steps from her hospital bed to the bathroom. It was hard for her to do, but she was determined.”
To help keep her lungs in proper working order and prevent post-surgical pneumonia, doctors have ordered Evie to blow soap bubbles. The family posted a photo of the girl doing just that in her hospital bed.
In addition, while in the hospital, Evie has been watching Disney movies, including “Fantasia,” and reading “Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.”
Fund raising to help defray post surgical expenses is continuing through the Children’s Organ Transplant Association. The family is trying to raise $45,000 and currently has a bit over $27,000.
On Wednesday, some of Evie’s school peers received a $500 check from the Kiwanis of the Sandhills chapter to aid the cause of Evie and another student who also is suffering an illness.
Those interested in making a contribution are invited to visit http://cota.donorpages.com/PatientOnlineDonation/COTAforEvieW/ or Evie’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/KidneyForEvie to do so.
Donations may also be mailed to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, 2501 West COTA Drive, Bloomington, Indiana, 47403. Checks or money orders should be made payable to COTA, with “In Honor of Evie W” written on the memo line of the check. Secure credit card donations are also accepted online at www.COTAforEvieW.com.
Tyler Wentz said the average kidney transplant lasts five to 10 years. A transplant is cheaper than continued dialysis, he said, and “most importantly,” provides a better quality of life for the patient.