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Patient Stories

Synique's Story

"My kidney wasn’t working right. So my mom gave me one of hers."

SyniqueSynique was born prematurely at 33 weeks with VACTERL association, dealing with multiple issues ranging from fused ribs and extra digits to issues with her kidney and bladder function. Her mom immediately brought her to NewYork-Presbyterian Phyllis and David Komansky Children’s Hospital for the extensive urologic and orthopedic surgeries she needed to correct this. Over the next few years, Synique's kidney function declined and she began receiving hemodialysis in October 2011. She would soon need a kidney transplant.

While on dialysis at just five years of age, Synique made up songs about all the exciting things she planned to do for the first time in her life after the operation: go to school, play at the beach, and splash in a pool.

In September 2012, she received a kidney from her mother. “I was the best match,” says Synique's mom, “… and I wouldn't have it any other way.”

The transplant performed by Dr. Sandip Kapur was successful, but the surgery was extremely complex. Urologist Dr. Dix Poppas operated to make the urologic alterations necessary after Synique's transplant.

Happily, this feisty and confident little girl is now thriving — doing everything she sang about and more.

About VACTERL Association

VACTERL association is a disorder that affects many body systems. Each letter represents a different system — for example, "V" stands for vertebral defects and "R" stands for renal anomalies. Synique had only one kidney and it was not a normal one. Kidney failure interferes with every aspect of normal life including feeding, growth, and development. When kids are born with a poorly functioning kidney, they are not able to clean toxic waste products from their blood, which may put other organs in jeopardy. This is why we needed to start cleaning Synique’s blood with the help of a machine. She had to come to the hospital three times a week and be connected to the machine for three hours each time. This is called hemodialysis. One year later, her mother donated one of her kidneys to Synique. The kidney transplant is working well.


When you child is diagnosed with a major illness — Advice from Synique's mom