News

Ava bounces back to normal life after kidney transplant

The Bancroft family, with Ava after her transplant at left, celebrates James’s Masters graduation.
The Bancroft family, with Ava after her transplant at left, celebrates James’s Masters graduation.

SPLASHING around in the water at Brooms Head over Christmas, you'd never guess Ava Bancroft was the same sick little girl who featured on our front page two years ago.

The Daily Examiner first met Ava when she was five-years-old and suffering from a mysterious and extremely rare kidney condition known as Dense Deposit disease.

As doctors searched for a solution, her health continued to deteriorate and daily dialysis treatments became a way of life.

Her parents, James Bancroft - who grew up in the Clarence Valley - and Tegan, were told even a kidney transplant may not be a viable fix, but after close two years on dialysis she was finally put on the donor waiting list.

Just five weeks later, last Father's Day, the call they were waiting for came.

Mr Bancroft was at the Gold Coast when he received word from Westmead Hospital that a perfect donor match had been found, and rushed to Sydney to be with his family for the operation.

"I didn't sleep for 36 hours but as soon as I knew she was fine I fell into a coma," he said.

"It wasn't until next morning I got a message from my sister saying Happy Father's Day that I realised what day it was."

Four months later, Ava has come along in leaps and bounds - literally.

Prior to receiving her new kidney, a water allocation of 500mL a day was administered in a medicine cup and she weighed a meagre 14kg.

She now has to drink at least two and half litres of water a day to keep her kidney working.

Ava also put on more than 50 per cent of her body weight and developed boundless energy within the first month, her dad said.

"It's been a massive 180-degree shift for us," Mr Bancroft said.

"She's always been a happy kid but she's content now, and a lot happier with herself."

 

Ava is still on a high dose of immunosuppressants to deter rejection and has to undergo blood tests twice a week and see specialists. There is also a high chance the disease will reoccur in her new kidney , but the Bancroft family is living each day to the fullest.

"It's a really aggressive kidney disease; even with the transplant it's likely she'll lose the graft but we decided to go ahead with it anyway," Mr Bancroft said.

"The head renal specialist did some research and found one other case in the world with the same genetic mutation, and they were almost four years post transplant, so we're a bit more positive about the outcome now, but if we get anything past 12 months we'll be singing and dancing."

Over Christmas they spent two weeks at Brooms Head with the extended family.

"Last year, we had to stay at a friend's house in Gulmarrad to have the dialysis machine on a reliable power supply," he said.

"This year she could do everything; it was just a completely normal holiday. She made up for lost time, and barely spent a minute out of the water."

The proud dad also said that despite more than a term's worth of sick days last year, she has been accepted into an accelerated learning program.

"It's been seriously such a massive turnaround," he said.

"I think if people realise what a difference it made, it wouldn't be a difficult decision to be an organ donor.

"We were already registered donors before she got sick but being involved first hand and seeing what an impact it has on someone's life, I absolutely think everyone should be a donor.

"We're immensely grateful - it's a gift to us and the enormity of the decision that family made isn't lost on us."

Topics:  kidney transplant organ donors



Spotify Summer tour kicks back in the Clarence Valley

David Harrison, Thom Moore and Beatrice McBride pose in the back of their truck for #spotifysummer

Head down to Minnie Water and Wooli to meet the crew from Spotify.

Carols in the Park a wonderful night for young and old

Carols In The Park at Memorial Park, Grafton

Carols in the Square was a brilliant night for community

Minister rejects council depot plan

Construction works at the site of the proposed Clarence Valley Council superdepot.

Figures show depot $1.2m short.

Local Partners

Dakota's world beating spectacular performance

Dancer helps break world record at School Spectacular performance


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

Ready to rumble: Boxing makes long-awaited return to Grafton

DETERMINED: Grafton Amateur Boxing Club members Zac Cotten (Cruiserweight), James Morrison (Jnr Featherweight), Eddie Debono (Super Heavyweight), Rhys Walters (Light Heavyweight), Joseph Pigg (Jnr Welterweight), Jamie Mansfield (Cruiserweight) are prearing for upcoming fight night in Grafton.

Five North Coast title belts up for grabs

Cyclist's 24 hours of pain for mental health

International endurance mountain-bike rider Morgan Pilley is used to pushing through the elements, but this weekend he'll push on to raise money for local mental health services in a charity ride at Junction Hill.

Ride For Youth to raise money for local youth mental health services

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Five South Grafton houses that won't break the bank

Check out these South Grafton houses for sale

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Give a little more this Christmas

TIME TO GIVE: Lee Johns, Courtney Smith and Daniel Kelly of Ray White Yamba promote their Little Ray Of Giving Christmas gift appeal.

Call out for presents, big or small

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!