When Heather and Adam Johnson went to an 18-week ultrasound for their son, Brody, they learned their baby’s left kidney was measuring slightly large, but that they shouldn’t be concerned because this common issue usually resolves itself.
They didn’t worry; Heather’s first pregnancy was smooth, and she delivered a healthy, happy baby. That was why, at Brody’s 28-week ultrasound, they were shocked to learn he had a severe case of fetal hydronephrosis, an obstruction that didn’t allow his kidney to drain into his bladder, and that his other kidney was covered in multiple cysts.
“Initially, when I was still in the doctor’s office, I was shocked. I didn’t know how severe it could be. When we left, and I spoke to my mom on the phone, I just broke down,” Brody’s mom said.
Brody was six weeks premature, and at one day old, he was transferred to the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where he had his first surgery. Brody spent the first three months of his life in the NICU. The Johnsons were told Brody needed a kidney transplant, but that he had to weigh 22 pounds before the surgery could be done.