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Kinsey Saleh

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A 5-year-old girl from Queens, N.Y., was suddenly diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure in January and doctors say time is running out for her to get a transplant, The New York Daily News reports.

Kinsey Saleh spends three long afternoons a week hooked up to a dialysis machine to stay alive. Kinsey’s mother,  Nadine Morsi, 38, said she and her family’s lives where upended when the rare diagnosis came out of the blue. The kindergartner was a healthy child before the diagnosis, but her mother said the energetic girl began tiring quickly when running from her apartment door to the street curb. Kinsey also bruised easily and complained of joint pain.

“The pediatrician was shocked when her blood test results came back,” said Morsi, a pediatric occupational therapist for the city Education Department. “He said, ‘You need to get your daughter to the emergency room immediately. She is in kidney failure.’ I was like, ‘WHAT?’”

Doctors told Morsi that her daughter’s condition was so severe that she was in danger of suffering a stroke or cardiac arrest from her high potassium levels. During her two-week January stay at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, Kinsey underwent four surgeries, suffered a seizure and had to have several transfusions, according to the Daily News. Despite how rough January was, Kinsey braved it like a trooper.

Here is more from the Daily News:

“She is superadorable, definitely a spitfire who will make you laugh,” said Dr. Christine Sethna, chief pediatric nephrologist at the Long Island hospital.

Sethna said end-stage kidney failure in children is rare — only 15 cases in 1 million U.S. children are seen each year — and the majority of kids inherit it.

Kinsey was not born with the disease, and so the cause of her renal disease is a mystery.

She is now on a waiting list for a kidney transplant, along with 72 other children in New York State, including 19 at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where transplant surgeons are following her.

In a cruel twist, Kinsey’s mom was a perfect match, but was not able to donate because surgery would have put her own health at risk due to a congenital clotting disorder.

And her dad — with a history of kidney stones — was also ineligible.

Dr. Scott Ames, the Mount Sinai surgeon who will likely perform Kinsey’s transplant, said time is of the essence because children fare much better the less time they are on dialysis. The 38-pound girl is already small for her age.

“I can’t imagine something harder than to have a 5-year-old child you are not able to help by giving them one of your organs,” said Ames. “So far, there might be two or three people who could be compatible, but a lot more testing needs to be done.

Right now, there is a Facebook page set up to help with Kinsey’s medical bills. As far as potential donors, there are a few and doctors are evaluating them.

Sunday morning, Kinsey asked, “Mom, when are my kidneys not going to be broken anymore?” she asked.

Morsi responded: “When our hero arrives. Soon.”

NYC Girl Needs Kidney Transplant Before It’s Too Late  was originally published on