SAN JOSE, Calif. - A South Bay couple is in desperate need for a living kidney donor for their two-year-old daughter.
She was born with under-developed kidneys. The odds are against her as there is a long list of patients waiting for an organ transplant in Santa Clara County.
"She acts happy all the time, she’s very outgoing, and very fearless," said Deanna Hernandez of San Jose.
On the outside, Nya and her twin sister, Amaya, both look like typical two-year-old girls. But Nya is not.
"She is on a feeding machine 24 hours a day," said Mother Deanna Hernandez of San Jose. "She’s on over 10 medications to keep her numbers stable."
When Nya was born, she had immediate health issues. Doctors soon realized she had underdeveloped kidneys smaller than normal. Six months later, she was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease which is a lifelong condition, in need of a kidney transplant.
"It’s been really hard on my family knowing she’s suffered so much since she’s been born," said Father Fabian Hernandez of San Jose.
Since December, Nya has been on the transplant list at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. It would be ideal to match her with a living donor.
"I’ve seen the wait list for a kidney transplant in Northern California grow from maybe five years to now nine to 10 years," said Sandy Andrada of Donor Network West. "What I’m seeing in little Nya’s family it’s heartbreaking and it’s what thousands of families are experiencing. In fact, 1,400 families are experiencing in Santa Clara County alone."
Donor Network West said the majority of the waiting list in Santa Clara County is made up of Latino patients but Latinos donate at a low rate.
"I’ve never seen stories of Latinos donating to other people," said Fabian Martinez.
Nya’s father is not a match because he’s not the right blood type. The donor needs to be O blood type. Nya’s mother has medical issues.
"Nya I have to take in for bloodwork every month and she has to get so many vials taken out of her," said Deanna Hernandez.
The couple is holding onto hope they’ll find a donor drawing strength from Nya’s strength. They hope one day Nya will be healthy like her sister and that by sharing their story, they can help others.
"She never gives up, we won’t ever give up we are going to continue to fight for her," said Deanna Hernandez.
If Nya does not get a transplant soon, she will be on dialysis. If you’d like to find out more information about being a donor, visit Donor Network West or Nya’s transplant coordinator Gerri James at (650) 724-8236.
Azenith Smith is a reporter for KTVU. Email Azenith at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AzenithKTVU or Facebook or ktvu.com