Behind the Slide – Andrea Dorning

Andrea Dorning didn’t hesitate.

When her newborn daughter needed a kidney, she said yes.

It started when Andrea was seven months pregnant, and doctors discovered a problem.

“So they sent us to a specialist,” Andrea said. “My husband and I were in (a room), sat there for the doctors to come in, and they were just, like, stone cold.”

The doctors threw out terms like “autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease” and “probably not going to survive until birth” for Andrea and her husband, Dan, to digest.

“It’s a two-hour drive home,” Andrea said. “So, we just sat there in complete silence.”

When her labor was induced, the doctors told her not to expect to see the baby breathe because, with her large kidneys, the lungs wouldn’t be able to expand.

“It was pretty traumatic, and Faith was in NICU for almost four months,” Andrea said.

Before the birth, the Dornings planned for Dan to donate a kidney, but they couldn’t start testing until Faith was big enough to be on the transplant list. When she was finally big enough for testing, Dan’s blood type wasn’t compatible.

But Andrea’s blood was, and she said yes.

She was on an operating table at one hospital; then police vehicles escorted the ambulance with her kidney across town to the Children’s Hospital, where an 18-month-old Faith was waiting on another operating table.

“She was the smallest and youngest at that point to get (a transplant) at Children’s because they have to be a certain weight and size to get one,” Andrea said. “I didn’t think she looked sick. It was insane to see the night and day change after she got it. Looking at the pictures, it’s literally a miracle.”

Today, Faith is a sixth-grader with big plans.

“I ride my horse, and next year in the summer, I’m gonna ride him in the short stirrup,” Faith said.

She takes medicines daily but is as active as other children her age.

Andrea has been able to resume her own plans, showing a homebred 3-year-old, Gunna Take Your Chic, in the CINCH Non Pro Futurity.

She had a bit of trouble in the prelims, but she has the bug now. She’ll be back in 2024, she said, and Faith will be with her.