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

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. Today, she is rambunctious and happy to be healthy.

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.

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A young patient at Children's National Hospital.