Colton Hutchison
Walker County
Feature Story
Colton Hutchison of Jasper appeared to be a perfectly healthy little boy when he was born in February 2010. But weeks later, he frightened his parents when he stopped breathing while his mom, Kristy, was feeding him. After a few pats on the back, he revived and doctors attributed the spell to an upper respiratory infection. But five days later, it happened again and Kristy had to perform CPR on her baby. A second trip to the Children’s of Alabama emergency department sent Colton straight to the neonatal intensive care unit where doctors suspected kidney disease.

Testing confirmed that Colton had congenital nephrotic syndrome which was causing his kidneys to fail. When he was discharged from the hospital two months later, Colton went home with 10 different medications and did fine for a while. Still, at 15 months, he needed a feeding tube and a central line for the albumen infusions he received three times a week at Children’s. Soon, doctors removed his diseased kidneys and Colton began receiving home peritoneal dialysis.

Kristy took two years off from work to care for her son and to learn how to perform the dialysis. Colton’s dad, Kevin, credits the Renal Care Center nurses for the education he and his wife received. “We felt confident when we left the hospital because they had confidence in us,” he said.

Despite the dialysis and the 19 medications he was taking, Colton’s health began to worsen and doctors said it was time for a kidney transplant. Kevin was quickly identified as the best donor match for his son. The transplant went smoothly and both made a full recovery. “Children’s was a home away from home for about 120 days,” Kevin said. “The emotional connection is so strong. You never want to let it go.”

Kidney transplant coordinator Cindy Richards, RN, said Colton has done well, both on dialysis and with his transplant, because of his family and their collaboration with his nephrology team. “It has been exciting seeing him grow and do well!”

Today, thanks to the treatment he received, Colton can do everything his buddies do – baseball, soccer, basketball, wrestling. He takes only three kinds of medicine a day and checks in with his doctor four times a year. “You’d never know anything had been wrong,” Kristy said. “He’s making up for lost time.”