When Tyler was just 1 month old, he was diagnosed with vesicoureteral reflux, a condition where urine that dwells in the bladder flows back into the ureters and often back into the kidneys. His condition left him with two scarred kidneys and in need of a kidney transplant.
For most of his childhood, Tyler lived a lifestyle that included taking lots of medications, drinking lots of water and avoiding full contact sports. At the age of 9, he received his kidney from his stepfather, Ken.
"We were quite fortunate," said Tyler's mom, Mary. "Children's has been wonderful."
Today, Tyler is an active teen who aspires to be a pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers. Thanks in part to the gift from his stepfather and the great care he received at Children's Hospital, Tyler's back on the field.
Max was first admitted to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin March 13, 2003 because he was dehydrated and doctors thought he might have pneumonia. His condition got worse over night, requiring doctors to remove fluid from his right lung the next morning.
During the procedure, doctors discovered Max's blood wasn't clotting. A team of critical care doctors worked to stabilize Max before telling his family they had only two more hours to find a solution before he would bleed to death. Max's likelihood of survival was only 5 percent.
Miraculously, doctors were able to stabilize Max providing him with a 50 percent chance of survival and a long struggle that included 78 days in the hospital. In addition to suffering brain damage similar to a stroke and having the tips of nine fingers and six toes amputated, Max's kidneys never recovered. He received kidney dialysis for 10 hours each night until a kidney donor, his father's cousin, was found many months later.
Today, Max is on his way to a full recovery. He is busy fourth-grader who swims, skates, plays the drums and hits the golf course on a regular basis.
"There is no question that without Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Max would not be with us today," said Max's mom, Cecilia. "They have the finest doctors, know the latest techniques and have the finest equipment in the country."