Father Gives His Daughter The Ultimate Gift

Boores' Kidney Transplant May Let Her Live Normally

November 10, 1991|By Daniel P. Clemens Jr. | Daniel P. Clemens Jr.,Staff writer

BALTIMORE — While a stream of doctors and nurses swirled around her hospital bedThursday, 14-year-old Melanie Boore longed for one thing -- homework.

Lots of it, especially math and science -- anything other than being stranded in a hospital bed and connected to an IV for days on end.

A longing for schoolwork is unusual in the typical 14-year-old. But then Melanie, a Westminster resident and East Middle School eighth-grader, is far from typical.

On Monday, Melanie, who has been hampered by kidney problems since birth, received a healthy kidney that was taken from her father, Michael.

As she lay in her bed at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center on Thursday, Melanie still was reelingfrom the effects of the six-hour surgery. And she was a bit blue about being away from home and friends.

But, most importantly, the procedure went well and Melanie was on the mend.

"I'd rather be in school," said the honor student, cracking a quick smile through her discomfort. "I want to see my friends."

Clad in red plaid flannel pajamas, Michael Boore sat in a chair by Melanie's side, with alternating expressions of pride and hope obvious on his face.

"It was wellworth it," said Michael, a 34-year-old truck driver for New Penn Trucking Co. in Baltimore. "I'm glad I did it.

"The first two days (after the surgery) were kind of rough, but I feel much better now. I'ma little sore, but other than that, I'm fine."

Melanie was quietly pondering how her life had been transformed forever. She has gone through a litany of bladder and intestinal tract complications triggered by chronic kidney failure and has undergone numerous surgeries.

Four times a day, Melanie was subjected to kidney dialysis treatments to cleanse her blood, a job her non-functioning kidneys couldn't perform. As part of the dialysis procedure, Melanie had tubes permanently inserted into her body. The tubes prevented Melanie from swimming because of concern over infection.

As part of the transplant procedure, the tubes were removed.

"Hopefully, this is the last surgery, the grand finale," said Melanie's mother, Kimberly, who lives in New York. "They're quite a pair."

Monday's surgery went well, and the prospects for a full recovery are promising, said Dr. Barbara Fivush, director of the Harriet Lane Kidney Center at Hopkins. Melanie's body will likely try to reject the transplanted kidney in the coming weeks, but doctors will respond with a series of treatments designed to prevent that.

After a two-week stay at the hospital, Melanie will return home. Full recovery should take about six weeks, and Melaniecould return to school by January.

"I don't want to see any more doctors," said Melanie, who wants to be a zoologist. "I've seen too many already."

Michael also is expected to enjoy a full recovery.

"He'll have one less kidney and a large incision, but that's about it," Fivush said.

Because tests showed that Michael's kidney wouldbe a compatible match, Melanie didn't have to get on a waiting list for a kidney, Fivush said.

Some 20,000 people are waiting for kidneys, and some may wait up to five years.

Most transplant patients have to wait for kidneys from deceased people. But Fivush said Michael and Melanie Boore serve as an illustration that successful transplants can be made between living people.

"We need donors," Fivush said. "It's important to know that there are a lot of people waiting."

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