Kaije well after grandmother gives giant gift

Kaije Archer is ``healthy, happy and alert" after receiving a kidney transplant from his grandmother. Picture: The Age
Kaije Archer is ``healthy, happy and alert" after receiving a kidney transplant from his grandmother. Picture: The Age

ROBYN Butterworth has given her beloved grandson Kaije Archer two invaluable gifts: a kidney and freedom from a debilitating syndrome.

The operation signifies the end of a time plagued with stress and uncertainty for Kaije’s family, who live at Kings Meadows.

Little Kaije received the kidney at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne on Thursday.

Kaije, who will turn 3 in April, was born with congenital nephrotic syndrome.

The rare syndrome meant his kidneys filtered an excessive amount of the protein albumin, which caused body swelling and a weak immune system.

Kaije’s father, 23-year-old Gregory Archer said he and his 29-year-old fiance Katelyn Boon were eternally and immeasurably grateful to Ms Butterworth, who is Katelyn’s mother.

‘‘It’s been a long time coming and the fact that we know normality is basically right around the corner – it’s possibly one of the happiest moments of our lives, that’s for sure,’’ Mr Archer said.

Mr Archer joked that he would never be able to say no to Ms Butterworth again.

‘‘There isn’t a thing I could say or do that could show just how much what she’s done means for us,’’ he said.

Ms Butterworth’s kidney was removed on Thursday morning at the Austin Hospital in Heidelberg.

Kaije entered the RCH operating theatre at 1.30pm, and his parents anxiously awaited an outcome.

‘‘We were a bit nervous ... it was more the fact that we didn’t get to see him for seven hours after he went in,’’ Mr Archer said.

‘‘As time rolled on, and the minutes ticked over, it was like, ‘come on, let me see my son’.’’

Much to their relief, apart from some minor re-stitching, the transplant was complication-free.

Kaije had his second kidney removed about six weeks before the transplant.

Mr Archer said his son was now healthy, happy and alert.

Now Kaije has a working kidney, he is considered free of congenital nephrotic syndrome.

He will continue to carry the gene and be monitored as he grows up.

‘‘Generally ... you’ve got to watch out for diet and infection, but I’m pretty sure you’d do that with most kids anyway,’’ Mr Archer said.

Ms Butterworth, who is recovering well, is due to be discharged from hospital this week.

Kaije’s parents and 15-month-old brother Atticus have been staying at Ronald McDonald House.

They will remain Melbourne for five to six weeks, as Kaije undergoes daily blood tests.

They look forward to returning to Tasmania and starting afresh.

‘‘We’ve had our setbacks, we’ve had our hiccups, he’s certainly had his fair share of hiccups – despite it all, we’re just so happy that it’s coming to an end,’’ Mr Archer said.

The Archer family have set up a crowdfunding campaign to assist with ongoing medical expenses.

Donations can be made at: www.gofundme.com/kaije-fathersplea.


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