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Mom donates a kidney to save her son born with kidney disease

<i>Megan Knight/WMAR</i><br/>Hank had the kidney transplant last year and it was a success. Today
Megan Knight/WMAR
Hank had the kidney transplant last year and it was a success. Today

By Megan Knight

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    WESTMINSTER, Maryland (WMAR) — Two-and-a-half-year old Hank Shockney exudes a happy, bubbly personality as he plays with his stuffed Bluey and smiles at his three older siblings. But life did not start out happy or bubbly for this spunky toddler.

“We found out very early on in the pregnancy with Hank that he had a lower urinary tract obstruction and ultra sounds showed a very enlarged bladder,” said Jessica Shockney, Hank’s mom. “Before he was even born we knew both of his kidneys were going to have some impaired function, we just didn’t know the extent of it until after he was born.”

At three weeks old, Hank began dialysis. He spent seven months at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center before going home, where he would continue dialysis.

His parents, Jessica and Steve, knew their fourth child would need a kidney transplant. They began the process to see if one them could be a donor. Jessica was a match.

“I was relived, I was ecstatic. I didn’t want him to have to go on a waiting list,” said Jessica.

It’s estimated more than 100,000 Americans are waiting for an organ, according to Infinite Legacy. In the Maryland, metro DC area, the number is around 4,000.

Of that number, about 85 percent are waiting for a kidney.

“The reality is people are dying every single day because the organ transplant they need is not donated in time,” said Jecoliah Daniels, the communications and marketing director of Infinite Legacy.

Infinite Legacy is a non-profit that facilitates the recovery of organs in deceased donors. Daniels said Hank’s story raises awareness about the need for organ donors, both living and after life.

“If it was your child if it was your mother, your father your colleague, you would want that organ to be available so we should all register to be organ donors.”

Hank had the kidney transplant last year and it was a success. Today, he is walking and talking and keeping up with his three older siblings.

“The world looks totally different to us than it did pre-transplant,” Jessica said.

His parents hope Hank’s story will inspire others to give the gift of life.

“Being on the recipient side of things, you just see how much it changes your life, his life for the whole family,” said Steve.

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