Kayden was admitted for severe heart failure in February 2014, just days after she had turned 6. She fought through 5 months of inpatient care in the Cardiac ICU as a ventricular assist device kept her alive with a mechanical pump to keep her blood flowing. During her wait for a new donor heart, she suffered 3 aschemic strokes that ultimately took her ability to walk, talk, and eat. Kayden continued to fight and survived the strokes and heart failure to receive a new chance at life when she received her heart transplant on June 30th, 2015.
Unfortunately, after the heart transplant, Kayden continued to have a hard road for the past 2 and a half years. She had a 4th stroke after her heart transplant and also frequent seizures. She was again able to fight her way through those issues and enjoy life at home with her parents and 2 loving siblings for over a year at home with less frequent visits to the hospital.
In the spring of 2017, Kayden was faced with a new set of obstacles. After having her tonsils and adenoids removed this spring and a biopsy of the swollen tonsils, Kayden was diagnosed with stage 1 post transplant lymphoproliferative disease (PTLD). PTLD is a malignant lymphoma that started in her tonsils and can spread through other lymph nodes in the body. Luckily, we were able to identify this quickly and with the tonsilectomy and iv infusions we recently found that Kayden is cancer free!
In July 2017, Kayden had her routine annual biopsy and cardiac catheterization, which found that she was in 3R severe heart rejection. Kayden has again been a tough little girl as she goes through infusions of many heart meds, steroids, and antibodies. She once again had many surgical procedures to place med lines as well as perform cardiac catheterizations and biopsies. Kayden was able to slowly heal and get back to level 1A rejection, which is much less severe than 3R.
During Kayden's most recent cardiac catheterization, they studied her coronary artieries and found that Kayden has stage 3 severe coronary artery disease. It is quickly progressing and we are faced with the reality that she will need a second heart transplant very soon as she continues to be dependent on IV heart failure meds to sustain heart function. After evaluation for re-transplantation, Kayden was declined the opportunity to receive a 2nd heart transplant at Lurie Children's Hospital due to her the severity of her complications so far, which make her a very high risk candidate for another transplant and less likely to survive long-term.
The Tanner Family is extremely hopeful, optimistic, and confident that we can continue fighting past these life-changing medical issues as we continue to give our sweet little girl the longest and happiest life that we can. We are in the process of sending Kayden's information to some of the best children's hospitals around the country to find her a place in another state that will help us continue the fight for Kayden's life and give us the opportunity for a 2nd heart transplant.
Kayden has already received a tremendous amount of support in many ways, but the financial burden on our family continues to grow. There is continued costs for medical expenses, therapy, medical equipment, and medication. It is also very costly for Kayden's immediate family to live in Chicago near Kayden, who has spent nearly half of her time during the last 2 years in the hospital away from home. We are planning on relocating to another state and moving our family across the country to seek care for our daughter and find someone who will help list her for a 2nd transplant.
Any donations for our beautiful little girl would be greatly appreciated as she continues this fight and we are extemely greatful for everyone's continued support. Thank you everyone for all of the thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. The Tanner family will continue to use every possible resource and explore all options to provide Kayden with the healthiest and happiest life posssible.
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