Colton has been a fighter from early on. When Lisa Chesson was four months pregnant, Colton’s surgery journey began. Doctors discovered that his bladder was very large for his gestational age, so he had his first fetal surgery for ureteric atresia and placement of a bladder stunt. The Chessons then traveled to Chile to see a fetal surgeon on the advice of our specialists here at Nicklaus Children’s.
When Lisa delivered Colton, he was transported by our LifeFlight® team to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital at 7 days old to have a dialysis catheter placed and begin treatment with Dr. Nicole Christin, pediatric nephrologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. For families like the Chessons, a prenatal visit is conducted before the baby is born, so they can immediately transition into care.
Fast forward one year later and Colton had nearly 10 surgeries for his condition.
“From the beginning, the nurses in the dialysis unit were amazing. They gave me so much advice, not just clinical, but just how to treat him like a regular little boy,” said Lisa. The entire clinical team felt like family.
With hemodialysis treatments, the Dialysis Unit at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital typically sees patients three times a week and the nurses see them so often that they become like family.
As the Chesson family continued navigating Colton’s health journey, unexpected complications arose when Lisa was diagnosed with cancer and she was supposed to be Colton’s match. Lisa went on to have a double mastectomy and is now in remission.
However, Lisa’s diagnosis led the Chessons to seek out a new donor for Colton. Through an incredible social and traditional media campaign, they were able to find a match for Colton and he had his transplant at Jackson Memorial Hospital shortly after.
After his transplant, the family noted an immediate difference in Colton. He’s now free of 12 hours of dialysis, and he’s counting, recognizing numbers and reaching new milestones.