Saving Stanley: A Mother Gives Her Adoptive Child a Second Chance at Life

From humble beginnings often come heart-warming stories. Born into foster care and with post-urethral damage—a condition where the valves from the bladder become blocked—Stanley was cared for by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Causing extensive damage to the kidneys, such a birth defect usually leads to a kidney transplant.

Although his health was deteriorating, Stanley’s life vastly improved when he was 6 months old. That’s when his soon-to-be adoptive mother and father, Haneefah and Stanley, first laid eyes on the frail infant. (Stanley was named after his adoptive father.) A foster mom who cares for medically fragile children, Haneefah had always wanted a son. When she met young Stanley, she immediately fell in love.

Adopting Stanley meant a lifetime of medical care; yet it didn’t matter—Haneefah knew they were meant to be together. Stanley was welcomed into his new parents’ capable arms and loving home. They began to care for him, relying on the high-quality care provided by Children’s.

“I believe that our children deserve everything we have and more,” Haneefah declared.

His health in constant decline, Stanley was soon in desperate need of a kidney transplant. His parents knew that Children’s was the right place for his surgery. Children’s has performed more than 375 kidney transplants, one of only a few pediatric hospitals in the country to reach this milestone.

The doctors at Children’s suggested a living donation—a gift of an organ from a healthy individual—to give Stanley the second chance he needed. With a living donation, a child can receive the transplant before becoming gravely ill. This leads to a quicker and less complicated recovery, and the chance of survival is greatly improved.

The prognosis for the donor is equally positive. Even when one kidney is removed, the donor can recover well. The remaining kidney works well enough for the donor to have a normal quality of life. A family member usually provides the best match, but many living donors are not related. When the time came for Stanley’s transplant, both Haneefah and her husband were tested to be a living donor.

As Stanley’s improving luck would have it, Haneefah was a match. Both of their surgeries were tremendously successful. Stanley is thriving with his donated kidney. Haneefah was overjoyed to provide her son with the gift of life. She continues to receive vast returns, with a physical and emotional bond like few others.

    Donate LifeHelp respond to a growing need for transplant care
    for children:

    -Visit Donate Life Georgia to register to become a donor.

    -Support Children’s pursuit of excellence in transplant services, allowing us to increase our medical staff, expand our services to provide more transplants to a growing number of children and discover the next breakthroughs in transplant medicine through research.

    -Check out just a few of Children's courageous transplant recipients on Facebook and other patient stories.