‘Kidney twins’ recovering

‘Kidney twins’ recovering

By Brandon Reid, Assistant Editor

The “kidney twins”—father and son Mike and Luke Stone of Rockford—are in good condition following a kidney transplant May 20 at Stanford University Hospital in Palo Alto, Calif. Luke remains at the hospital in recovery while Mike was released from the hospital shortly after the surgery.

Seven-year-old Luke, who started calling his father his “kidney twin” a few weeks before the surgery, had suffered from cystinosis, a rare metabolic disorder characterized by an abnormal accumulation of the amino acid cystine in various organs of the body. Mike, 39, donated his kidney to his son in an attempt to correct the disease.

The Stones were scheduled for surgery May 19, but the surgery was delayed because the hospital conducted an emergency liver transplant. Mike said doctors told him his kidney “did not want to come ou,” and there was a lot of scar tissue.

Stanford is one of only a few hospitals in the country that offer steroid-free transplants. Luke is expected to get about 20 years out of the kidney. Many cystinotics undergo numerous transplants throughout their lives.

Mike’s wife Linda and their other children Alex, 8, and Makayla, 4, will be staying in California for much of the rest of the summer to remain close to Luke and the hospital. Mike, however,plans to return home within the next month to return to work.

About 400 people in the United States suffer from cystinosis. For more information about the disease, visit www.cystinosisfoundation.org.

David Harper, advertising representative, contributed to this story.

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