Update To Evan’s Story:
Riverview mom Melissa Ranieri and 2-year-old son Evan are currently recovering from a life-saving kidney transplant from mother to child operation at Tampa General Hospital. Evan and mom had the surgery on Wednesday and are just starting to reunite slowly as the pair recover. So far, things are looking great for Evan’s new kidney and mom is struggling through the surgical pain to visit Evan several times per day.
Doctor James Huang, Tampa General Hospital’s director of renal transplant, performed the surgery on the pair.
Two-year-old Evan Ranieri of Riverview has already undergone more medical treatments than most adults have in their lifetime. Evan is suffering from hypoplasia, which in the simplest terms, means that he was born with small kidneys that are unable to sustain function. He was diagnosed with kidney disease when his mother, Melissa Ranieri, was just 20 weeks pregnant with him. “We found out he would have kidney disease of some sort, we just didn’t know to what degree,” Ranieri shares.
In January his parents received the news that his disease had progressed and he would require dialysis. He and his mom now make the drive to Tampa General three days a week for four-hour dialysis sessions. Ranieri admits that it has been difficult for Evan to stay confined during the dialysis. “He just turned two; to keep a toddler confined to a bed is hard,” she says.
Evan was recently cleared for a kidney transplant and his mom has been found to be the only matching donor to date. After insurance, the Ranieri’s share of the costs is estimated to be $100,000. They have turned to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) for help in raising funds. So far they have raised about $50,000, but still have a ways to go.