Three-year-old leaves hospital for first time in two years

(UW Health)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 5:25 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - 3-year-old Kingston Vang Wraggs spent around two years in the hospital but was finally able to leave on Wednesday morning.

After nine months in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and over a year in the surgical unit at American Family Children’s Hospital, Kingston is finally going home.

(UW Health)

Tommy Wraggs, the boy’s father, reflected on how he can’t believe this day is finally here.

“When I think back to how my son was hanging on by a thread for so long, I feel so grateful to be at this point now,” said Wraggs.

When he was first born, he seemed as healthy as any other baby, but when he was three months old a bulge appeared on his abdomen and his physician pointed them to a hospital immediately, according to UW Health.

Once there, Kingston was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease called congenital nephrotic syndrome, that causes the body to pass too much protein, which is essential for regulating fluids and managing infections, out of the body, says UW Health. They also said that the only way he could survive would be a kidney transplant, but he was too small for one as finding a matching kidney of that size would be difficult.

He received nearly 20 daily medications and a tube that was attached to his stomach to get him the nutrition and hydration that he needed.

(UW Health)

At one-year-old, both of his kidneys were removed, requiring him to need dialysis at home, according to UW Health. This worked for a few months but then he seemed restless and uncomfortable, so he was taken to UW Health Kids.

“My daddy instinct said, ‘take him now,’ so I drove him to American Family Children’s Hospital immediately,” Wraggs said.

Soon after arriving, Kingston went into cardiac arrest but doctors and nurses there were able to revive him, say UW Health. He had developed an extremely rare, flesh-eating bacterial infection, which would require him to stay in PICU for a year, constantly battling for his life.

He was eventually moved into the medical surgical unit to seek a new kidney when one would finally come through in June.

Pediatric transplant surgeon, Dr. Tony D’Alessandro, discussed just how amazing Kingston’s journey was.

“First with his diagnosis, then with such a severe infection, and even just finding a kidney donor that could work for his size and complications, it is so gratifying to see him discharged from the hospital,” said D’Alessandro.

Dr. Allison Redpath Mahon, a nephrologist, was also happy to see Kingston go home.

“We don’t really use the word miracle in medicine, but Kingston is a miracle,” said Mahon.

The Wraggs family reportedly could not say enough good things about UW Health Kids team and the way they helped them through their incredibly demanding situation.

“Not only were they there every step of the way for my child, but they also checked on me and my wellbeing countless times,” Wraggs said. “They wanted to know if I’d eaten or slept, they took care of me when I was focused on caring for King.”

He said that it felt as though Kingston had 30 or 40 moms.

“They took care of him, they rocked him to sleep, they braided his hair, they loved him like he was their own child,” Wraggs said.

On Wednesday, UW Health Kids child life specialists, as well as dozens of his nurses and physicians, gathered to celebrate Kingston’s discharge and see him off with signs, pom poms, bubbles, and cheers.

3-year-old leaves the hospital after 2 year visit
3-year-old leaves the hospital after 2 year visit(UW Health)

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