Kamloops toddler suffering from kidney failure now ready for transplant - InfoNews

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Kamloops toddler suffering from kidney failure now ready for transplant

Ferris Backmeyer, 2, started experiencing kidney issues just a few weeks after she was born.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Lindsey Backmeyer
November 07, 2019 - 6:00 AM

KAMLOOPS - A toddler suffering from kidney failure after being diagnosed with a rare syndrome has reached the minimum height and weight requirement for a kidney transplant.

Ferris Backmeyer, 2, was diagnosed with Mainzer-Saldino syndrome, which affects her kidneys and liver as well her retinas, according to her mother Lindsey Backmeyer.

“She’s been on dialysis for about a year and a half,” Lindsey says. “We do the dialysis at night time for about 13 hours every night and she is being tube fed to help her grow.”

The family has five different nurses that come to help Ferris on a regular basis. Lindsey says the mornings are usually rough for the two-year-old.

“She usually wakes up feeling kind of yucky as the day goes on but she gets better and better and by evening she is her best self and is a very typical two-year-old,” she says.

Lindsey says Ferris’ growth has been the biggest struggle since she has to be a certain size for transplant.

“We have just finally hit that now but she is so slow to grow so we are still tube feeding her so she gets tube fed every couple hours,” she says.

Since her diagnosis, Lindsey says they spent more than 80 days at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver last year. Over the winter, Ferris caught the influenza virus which was complicated by her syndrome and caused her to spend more time in hospital

Aside from her medical struggles, Lindsey says Ferris still enjoys playing with her two older siblings — who are six and eight — camping and being outside.

“She captivates people, anybody that meets her they are just infatuated by her,” Lindsey says. “People are just drawn to her because she is cute as heck and they are trying to figure out why she is different but you can’t tell by looking at her there is anything wrong with her unless you saw her tummy.”

The family still travels to Vancouver every four weeks to the Children’s Hospital for Ferris. Lindsey says they are working on getting her ready for the transplant.

“We are looking to see if there are any living donors that would be a match for her and then we could potentially do a live donor kidney transplant hopefully within the next year would be our best case scenario,” she says. “If there is no live donor then she would get put on a deceased donor list.”

Without a kidney transplant, Ferris will only survive on dialysis for so long.

“You can’t live forever on dialysis, they have not come straight out and said you five years or anything like that, but your tummy where dialysis happens on your body, eventually the membrane breaks down and it doesn’t work as well,” she says. “Ferris, from what I understand, is on maximum dialysis for her size and age so we don’t have any room to do more if things were to not look great.”

Lindsey recently found out she wasn’t a donor for her daughter which is why she is interested in getting the word out on the off chance of finding a donor.

“She needs a kidney sooner than later,” she says.

Anyone interested in becoming a donor can visit St. Paul’s Living Donor Program website by going here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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