Maya Zarger and her sister Aneka are alike in a lot of ways, but at eighteen months old, Maya has been through more than most kids.
"They diagnosed her with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome," says Megan Zarger, Maya’s mother.
The disease destroyed her kidneys. It's in remission now, but every night, Maya is hooked to a dialysis machine.
"Her room looked like, you know, a little mini-hospital room."
Now, thanks to a new, smaller machine, it looks like a little girl's room again. Dr. Bradley Warady says the machine is a better alternative for young kids.
"The current machine that we have is a major advance in peritoneal dialysis. It's very portable, so it allows the family to engage in pretty normal family activities," says Dr. Bradley Waraday.
It can also deliver small amounts of dialysis fluid to children more safely. The machine's efficiency means fewer alarms, which means a better night's sleep for everyone.
"I hear from a lot of nephrologists that this machine is really the best machine that has existed for home dialysis."
Maya's parents agree. They can travel now, and Maya can even spend the night at grandma's house.
"It's given us a lot of confidence, the new machine has, in knowing that she'll be okay without us here."
"I think she's the toughest kid I've ever met. She's had one of the most difficult childhoods, infancies, I can possibly imagine," says Brett Zarger, Maya’s dad.
While Maya waits for a kidney transplant, this machine keeps her alive, and her family keeps her spirits up.
For more information, contact:
Children's Mercy Hospitals And Clinics
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.