Celebrating Ralph's new kidney

“I love going swimming and eating Pringles now I don’t have a tube,” said eight-year-old Ralph, who no longer lives at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH).

Today, on World Kidney Day, Ralph and his mum Aime share their story of life after a kidney transplant.

​In 2015, Ralph was living with childhood nephrotic syndrome on Eagle Ward at GOSH and waiting to be well enough for an operation to give him a new kidney. 

Ralph used to need dialysis every night, a form of renal replacement therapy to remove substances that the body does not need that otherwise build up in the blood. In May 2016, Ralph got the go ahead to have his long-awaited transplant and now has one of his dad Nick’s kidneys, which he nicknamed Chase.

Today the little boy with the big personality is enjoying his freedom. Ralph no longer has to spend weeks at the hospital and endure hours of dialysis nightly. Instead, he has sleepovers over at his nan’s house, has settled back into Year 3 at school and has been spending time with his new baby sister Nell and his five-year-old brother Ted.

“I love going swimming and eating Pringles now I don’t have a tube,” Ralph said.

Aime added: “Ralph loved having a sleep over at his nan’s. It was really exciting for him because before we always had to rush home for his dialysis. He has tonnes more energy and is even crazier than before.”

Waiting for Ralph to come home

Aime said: “When we found out that Ralph could have the transplant I was very near to having Nell. Ralph had his transplant but then needed to go back into GOSH with complications. Everything went well and he was home the day before I had Nell. It was like she was waiting for him to come home.”

The Frost family are looking forward to spending family time together. “Ralph loves Nell and he’s being really good with her,” Aime added.

“After a relatively long break from the hospital, I suddenly appreciated that our family has been through a lot and I’m now getting used to doing the things that every other family does. It’s little things, like not having to plan meal times around medication or rushing back home in time for dialysis. We have so much more freedom now.

“We have a holiday booked to Tenerife at Christmas. We haven’t been abroad since Ralph was diagnosed so we’re all really looking forward to that!”

Ralph still visits GOSH to go to the post-transplant clinic. Aime said: “He’s still immune suppressed, we have to be careful about him picking up bugs. We still have a lot of contact with the hospital but we’re mostly back to normality.”

Looking back

In 2015, Ralph was involved in the Independent and Evening Standard’s Give to GOSH appeal which ran for three months and raised £3.5 million for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.

A few weeks before his transplant, Ralph visited 11 Downing Street to celebrate the success of the campaign. Remembering the appeal Aime said: “Ralph loves that he can Google his name and articles come up, it makes him feel famous.”

“Without their donations, the hospital wouldn’t be the special place for children that it is. It doesn’t matter how sad the situation is, at least you know it’s the best place for your child.”

We need your support

GOSH has always depended on public support to give seriously ill children the chance for a better future. With new challenges every day and more and more children requiring treatment at the hospital, we need that support now more than ever.

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