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Helping Zariyah Heal

Zariyah loves her Elsa doll, the movie “Frozen” and singing. She is a rambunctious and happy 4-year-old. Zariyah also is a survivor. Two years ago, at Children’s National, she received a new kidney from a beloved aunt.

Before Zariyah was born, her mom LaShawn learned though imaging that her baby’s kidneys were damaged. “I was so afraid I would lose her,” LaShawn says. In Zariyah’s first years of life, she needed a gastronomy feeding tube (G-tube) for nutrition. At age 3, she had the kidney transplant. Surgery was initially a success, but Zariyah was back in the hospital a few months later.   

“It was very hard. It was Christmas 2020,” says LaShawn, “I’m very close to my mom and dad and because of COVID, they could not come to the hospital.” With ongoing care, including once-a-month hospitalizations for several months, Zariyah recovered and went home to her family.