New Drug Helps Child Survive Kidney Disease

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A kidney transplant may sound like the perfect solution for a North Texas child battling a rare kidney disease. But until recently, it has not been an option for 5-year-old Aiden Cross.

When he was just 4 months old, Aiden became sick. His mother, Christy, knew that something was very wrong. His kidneys were deteriorating, and a hospital in Tyler rushed Aiden by helicopter to Medical City Dallas. “They literally flew us here to save his life,” Christy said.

After four years of kidney dialysis, Aiden finally received a kidney transplant in June. Doctors would not have been able to perform the transplant if it was not for a new drug called Soliris. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last September for use in patients with atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome — the very rare disease that was destroying Aiden’s kidneys.

Atypical HUS is a life-threatening genetic disease that attacks the vital organs. “What I found out later,” Christy said, “any time his immune system is stimulated, it kind of doesn’t know when to put on the brakes.”

“In a way, it’s like the immune system gone awry,” said Dr. Albert Quan with Medical City Dallas, “and it destroys the kidney in the process.”

Aiden’s new kidneys came from a 6-year-old child. “I felt so heartbroken that they had to go through such trauma and heartbreak for him to get something that he needed,” said Christy, “that was going to give him such joy and give our family such joy and such a blessing.”

Without Soliris, Quan said, Aiden’s new kidneys would have been ravaged by the disease. “It doesn’t prevent the genetic problem from being an issue, but it prevents it from causing kidney failure,” Quan said. Aiden will be watched closely for the rest of his life. The doctor and Aiden’s mother are encouraged, because other children on Soliris are also doing well.

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