Meet Grady

Grady and Mom

As the youngest of four boys, Grady's mom will tell you that he knows he is special. And as a typical 4-year-old who loves trucks and dinosaurs, what makes Grady special isn't just his birth order. After a healthy, normal pregnancy and birth, Grady's parents were shocked when he began to have seizures at only 10 days old. During his evaluation at a local hospital's emergency department, the medical team determined at some point he also suffered a stroke. Grady was soon diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome, a rare inherited kidney disorder that develops shortly after birth. Grady spent more than six weeks in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and after he was released, required daily infusions to flush fluid from his body, which kept him stable for a while.

When Grady was 2 years old, his family felt that he needed more specialized treatment and transferred his care to St. Louis Children's Hospital. His new medical team felt that Grady was ready for dialysis so that his little body would grow. Peritoneal dialysis, done from home by caretakers to help flush toxins from his body, was the first step. Due to complications, Grady was eventually admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at St. Louis Children's until he was stabilized. He then began hemodialysis, which meant he visited St. Louis Children's Dialysis and Infusion three days a week. By November 2022, Grady's doctors felt that his kidneys were no longer functioning and needed to be removed. Grady officially joined the kidney transplant list in May 2023.

With three older brothers, Grady's summer consisted of attending dialysis appointments at St. Louis Children's five days a week and tagging along to his older brothers' activities. It was during a back-to-school event in August 2023 when Grady's mom, Taylor, received the call that he had been matched with a kidney donor. Grady and his parents arrived at St. Louis Children's Hospital later that evening and Grady's medical team performed a successful kidney transplant the next afternoon.

Grady is now a thriving young boy who is growing quickly. Since his transplant, he has grown two shoe sizes and jumped several clothing sizes. He finally has enough energy to run and play with his three older brothers. He has monthly visits with his medical team and takes daily anti-rejection medications. From the dialysis team throwing Grady a party before his transplant surgery to his Child Life specialist being with him every step of the way, his parents are grateful for the specialized care he continues to receive and will require the rest of his life.

Grady's family is thankful for many of the resources that donor-funded programs offer at St. Louis Children's. A cup of coffee, a snack, a clean load of laundry or a quiet moment in the Center for Families are all normal things that Grady's mom appreciated during their time at the hospital. Your gift through programs like KIDstruction Week helps fund resources like Child Life Services and the Center for Families. These resources normalize the hospital experience not just for Grady's family, but for every family who steps through our doors.