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Ethan Hackney

When Ethan Hackney’s parents, Jenny and Paul, discovered that their two-week-old baby needed surgery for a common digestive issue, they never imagined it would be the best thing that’s ever happened to them. 

Ethan was admitted to the IWK, and while waiting for surgery, he suddenly began retaining fluid.

“My precious baby was so swollen. He looked like he had been stung by 100 bees. If it weren't for the instincts of the nephrologist on-call, it would have taken months for us to realize just how sick Ethan was,” says Jenny.

Five days later, after many tests, Ethan was diagnosed with an extremely rare and life-threatening kidney disease called Congenital Nephrotic Syndrome. Jenny and Paul learned that he would one day need a kidney transplant to survive.

Now four years old, Ethan’s kidney function continues to be closely monitored. He receives a weekly infusion treatment in the nephrology clinic to replace the protein his body lacks.

“Whether it’s the door screeners greeting you, the cleaning staff who keep everything immaculate or the department heads, everybody at the IWK works for your child the minute you walk through the doors,” says Jenny.

Ethan is defying the odds when it comes to his condition and is a happy little boy. While it can sometimes be easy for his parents to forget he is sick, they know he will continue to require life-saving treatment at the IWK throughout his childhood. And when the time comes for Ethan’s kidney transplant, they know they are in the best possible hands.


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