Overcoming challenges to secure a kidney transplant for her daughter  

Natasha, from East Africa, discovered that her 14-month old daughter, Anayah, had interstitial nephritis. This diagnosis marked the beginning of a long and arduous journey to find a kidney donor and save her child. The path was fraught with alternating waves of hope and disappointment. After months of waiting, the generosity of a donor finally saved Anayah’s life, transforming her future and inspiring others with this story of resilience and hope.

Our family lived in East Africa when we faced an unexpected challenge. 

Our daughter, Anayah, who was about 14 months old, began vomiting after feeds. It felt strange seeing the complete throw up as it flowed out dramatically. To top it all she had blood diarrhoea.  

As a young mother I was shocked, saddened and in tears. This was a normal reaction, but we did not know this was a beginning of a whole new, traumatic journey.  

After months of hospitalisation when we feared we would lose her, we made the decision to take her to Hyderabad, India, for medical assistance.  

On March 2, 2016, we arrived in Hyderabad and drove to the hospital. After numerous tests and a biopsy we were informed that our little baby had interstitial nephritis. We were also told that the condition was not reversible and that she would eventually develop chronic kidney disease.  

From the point of hospitalisation, we experienced immense fear and shock. While we were devastated by the news, we realised we had to face this disease with grit. We wanted to give her a good life. 

Six months after the diagnosis Anayah was put on dialysis. We chose peritoneal dialysis which was milder and less harsh on the child.We took all precautions to keep her safe, hoping she would get a transplant soon.  

For six years on peritoneal dialysis, she faced high her blood pressure. On the one hand, we were desperate for the transplant to happen, but her high blood pressure made it tough. The doctor suggested a nephrectomy to resolve the high blood pressure problem, which meant removing both her native kidneys. 

We began my donor tests after Anayah recovered from the surgery. But COVID hit the world, and everything shut down. During that period, I was found to have an autoimmune disease called Graves’ disease that affected my thyroid gland. Though I was keen to donate my kidney, we decided to register Anayah for a cadaver transplant.

Six months on the cadaver list we got “the call”! But soon, it was discovered to be unsuitable for her. A few months later, the second call came and Anayah got her second chance to live. 

An unknown donor saved our daughter’s life. We feel immense gratitude and thanks to the universe. As we look back, we feel things turned out well due to finding good medical support. 

All we did was give our little one a chance to live well with a kidney transplant. Transplant is indeed a life changer for our daughter. 


Disclaimer: The blog series is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to endorse or promote any specific drug, product, or brand. Each individual’s experience is unique and should not be construed as medical advice or a guarantee of similar results for others. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions regarding your health and well-being.