To hear people describe 7 year-old Mary Moy, you’ll hear words like athletic, strong, fast, sassy, a personality that lights up a room.
But outside of the Maplewood Elementary School second grader’s family and closest friends, you wouldn’t know she has Stage 3 chronic kidney disease with approximately just 50% kidney function.
Almost from birth, Mary has had her share of health scares. At one week of age she was diagnosed with kidney failure. When doctors couldn’t get a urinary catheter in her bladder, they discovered her urinary tract didn’t form properly.
A series of infections early on caused scarring in her kidneys, and at 2 months old she had a lengthy surgery to realign her urinary tract.
That worked well until at age 2 when a daycare worker called Mary’s parents to report a high fever. Her mother Kelly picked her up and immediately noticed a gray coloring on her face. Her pediatrician referred her to Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley’s ER, and after registering a 106-degree fever there she was rushed to the Akron campus.
That’s when the decision was made to proceed with urinary tract reconstruction surgery to correct Mary’s Grade 5 kidney reflux, a condition where the urine flows backwards from the bladder into the kidneys. As a result, when Mary would get a bladder infection, it quickly traveled to her kidneys and blood stream and caused her to be dangerously ill.
Dr. Daniel McMahon, urologist, performed a surgical procedure that creates a mechanical valve effect and prevents the reverse flow of urine to the kidneys.
“The surgery was a turning point in her life,” her father, Ken Moy, said. “After that, she was a different kid; eating, not getting sick, growing by leaps and bounds.”
Over time, some of her medications have been weaned away, which is a sign that her current level of kidney function is able to maintain her body’s equilibrium.
“She’s really done phenomenally since the surgery,” mom Kelly Moy said. “We were told she ultimately may need a kidney transplant, but her kidney function has stabilized as she’s grown.”
Today, Mary keeps active with soccer, gymnastics, basketball, fishing, cheerleading, riding 4-wheelers and having fun on the family’s farm in northern Trumbull County.
“You would never know she’s had any type of health problem,” Kelly said.
Medically, she’s down to a once-per-year urology check, lab testing every 3 months to monitor her kidney function, which she does at Akron Children’s in Warren, and regular office visits to the Beeghly campus in Boardman with pediatric kidney specialist Dr. Shefali Mahesh.