A six-year-old girl has beaten the odds by having not one, but two kidney transplants.
Mallory Bultsma has suffered from severe kidney damage, even before she was born.
“We knew pretty much in utero that she was probably going to need a kidney transplant at some point,” says Kim Bultsma, Mallory’s mother.
The kidney damage was caused by bilateral grade five bladder reflux. Doctors told the Bultsmas’ that their daughter would need a kidney transplant as soon as she weighted 22 lbs, the size needed to receive an adult sized kidney.
The couple started Mallory on dialysis in preparation for her first transplant in 2008 and a month after her second birthday, she received a kidney transplant.
But this spring, the family realized that the kidney was failing.
“It was really a tough pill to swallow. If you would have said she was going to need another kidney I would have been like what are you kidding me?”
Once the Bultsmas’ realized their daughter would need another kidney transplant, the search began for a donor. They needed someone who matched Mallory's O positive blood type.
After weeding out extended family and friends, they turned to Facebook, hoping to find a match.
Jaci Monaghan saw the post through a friend and sought out her husband, Brian, as a potential donor.
“I was at work one day and I got an email from my wife and she’s like you’re O positive blood right?,” recalls Brian Monaghan.
The father of five children immediately agreed to begin the process of becoming an organ donor.
“How could you not do it? Here's a six-year-old girl who has this need and you have the ability to fill it and change her life forever.”
It wasn’t until after Mallory’s surgery was over on August 29th that the Bultsmas’ met the man who saved their daughter's life.
“Just to see her and have that there's a connection there that's hard to describe,” says Monaghan. “To know I was part of making her feel better is a pretty special feeling.”
It's a connection that Mallory's parents feel as well.
“It was very humbling to know that someone you don't even know and had never even met would go and do that for your child.”
Mallory has been doing so well, she’ll be going back to school Tuesday and begin attending half days. Brian is still healing, but expects to be back at work in the next week or two.