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ABCNews4: Lowcountry Teen Celebrates Milestone Following Successful Kidney Transplant

ABCNews4 recently featured the extraordinary story of MaryAshley Barbot, a South Carolina teen who waited 10 years for a new kidney before getting treatment from Dechu Puliyanda, MD, director of Pediatric Nephrology at Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s, and ultimately a transplant.

At 9 years old, Barbot’s body rejected the kidney transplant she had received as a baby.

After a decade of searching for donors near their home in South Carolina with no luck, the Barbot family turned to the transplant program at Cedars-Sinai. 

When Barbot first arrived at the hospital, she had high levels of antibodies in her blood. Not only were her chances of organ rejection more likely, but the operation was also a last-ditch effort, Puliyanda told ABCNews4. 

“She was a very, very difficult candidate to find another kidney that would match well with her body in order to be able to accept it,” Puliyanda said.

After the surgery last September, Barbot improved, according to her mother, Charlene Barbot. The family received more good news during MaryAshley’s six-month follow-up.

“It [test results] shows no antibodies. So, I think this is probably the first time that I feel like I can really take that deep breath,” Charlene told ABCNews4. “And I know … it’s still a journey.”

Though MaryAshley has faced many obstacles, including several hospitalizations and monthly infusions, she now has a new lease on life and looks forward to a bright future.

“I think if she could, she would not take time to sleep,” Barbot’s mother told ABCNews4. “She just wants to soak up so much of life. She does not want to miss a second of being a part of things.”

Click here to watch the complete video from ABCNews4.