FAIRFIELD — Vanessa Muzio learned at her first ultraound, her soon-to-be-born son would face challenges after an abnormal blockage in his urinary tract was detected.
The young mom was told her son, Jordan Terry, would eventually need a kidney transplant. She just didn’t think it would be this soon.
The Fairfield tot, who will be 2 in August, has renal failure. Each night, he’s hooked up to dialysis for 12 hours. He is also on oxygen as he sleeps.
His mother, aunt, grandmother and great-grandmother have begun searching for a live donor. It may be the first of many transplants for Jordan as a kidney from a live donor lasts about 20 years, one from a dead person, about 15 years, Muzio said.
“It takes a few months to get a match,” she said.
It also gives the young boy a chance to gain more weight as some of his nutrition is consumed through a tube in his stomach. He also struggles with developmental skills.
Jordan needs to first celebrate his second birthday to have the transplant. Since he needs an adult kidney, he needs to have the space for it to fit.
“If they put in a baby kidney, he’ll outgrow it,” said his great-grandmother Lydia Osuna.
Jordan also takes several medications daily. They are inserted through a tube in his stomach. The bedroom he shares with his mother is stacked with cardboard boxes containing the medical supplies he needs.
An overnight trip with his mom and aunt, Jesenia Castazneda, turns into a packing marathon with enough bags to fill up the car trunk, Castazneda said.
“It looks like we are traveling for two weeks,” Muzio said of the equipment that accompanies her son when he leaves the house.
He spent the first two months of his life in the neo-natal intensive care unit and came home on his due date. Since then, he’s been in and out of the hospital several times.
Through it all, he never loses his smile, said his grandmother Monica Muzio.
“Everyone is drawn to Jordan,” she said.
Jordan lives with his mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and uncle. All pitch in to help as Muzio is also wrapping up her high school studies.
“Sometimes it’s like raising two children, my sister and my nephew,” Castazneda said. “My sister and I have a close bond.”
Castazneda provides transportation to Jordan’s medical appointments at the University of California, San Francisco. It’s common to leave Fairfield at 8 a.m. and leave San Francisco after 3 p.m. Appointments can last three to four hours, she said.
The amount of care involved for Jordan has made her think twice if she’s ready for motherhood. Castazneda calls Jordan her “practice baby.” At this point, the 21-year-old said she doesn’t see herself having children any time soon.
She is also the primary caregiver for her mother. Muzio, 39, had her first stroke six years ago. She was 33 at the time and living in Las Vegas. Her second stroke was in August, 2013.
Another set of loving arms comes from Jordan’s 9-year-old aunt Destiny Muzio. She stacks the plastic blocks, he knocks them down, then laughs.
“We are a closed family,” Monica Muzio said. “Jordan has brought us closer. I didn’t think it could happen, but it did.”
Osuna echoed the sentiment and said, “I’m thankful we are all together.”
That togetherness also includes 15-year-old Isaiah Muzio, who finds it difficult to spend time with his nephew.
“They are all baby hoggers,” he said of the females in the house.
The family finds support with each other and relies on their faith in God to get them through the challenges.
“God won’t give us any more than we can handle,” Castazneda said.
Those who want to see if they are a kidney match for Jordan can register at www.ucdonor.org. The recipient’s name is Jordan Eli Terry. His date of birth is Aug. 30, 2012. Both items are needed to complete the online form.
You can also learn more about Jordan at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Search-for-a-Kidney/1471903139688578?ref=ts&fref=ts.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.