At age five, Alana went into kidney failure, which later required her needing a transplant. A "brilliant" doctor and a dedicated team provided leading-edge and compassionate care every step of the way.
When Rita B was told soon after giving birth in 1995 that her daughter, Alana, would eventually experience renal (kidney) failure, she began searching for the right doctor. Rita fielded referrals from friends, family and other physicians, but when someone mentioned Richard Fine, MD, she sat up and took notice. "Someone had told me that there's this brilliant doctor at Stony Brook, Dr. Fine, so I made an appointment to see him. The minute I met him, I knew I had to stay here."
Dr. Fine, who in addition to being an internationally know pediatric nephrologist, was at the time also the Dean of the School of Medicine, as well as the head of Stony Brook's pediatric nephrology and transplant program. As predicted, Alana went into renal failure when she was five years old, but with the right team already in place, Rita felt confident that her daughter would get excellent care.
Through daily dialysis, Alana was stabilized and then approved for the transplant list. She received her first kidney at age seven. Not long after, she started experiencing excruciating belly pain. Alana had developed gallstones and a condition called post-transplant lymphomic disorder, which is essentially a form of cancer. Although the cancer began to clear up on its own, she was rejecting the new organ and was again placed on the transplant list.
In June 2006, Alana had her second kidney transplant at Stony Brook Children's. And today, more than four years later, she is doing well, even "amazing" as her mother says.
Rita believes this outcome was possible because her daughter was in the right place at the right time with the right people. "Stony Brook really helped me every step of the way. Every single person at Stony Brook is compassionate and sympathetic. They know how to speak to you. It is a great hospital."