An 19-month-old baby urgently needs a kidney donor to save his life.

Roman Cook was born prematurely at 34 weeks, with just one kidney, and Roman is being kept alive through a dialysis machine.

His family are not a match and they say the tot is on borrowed time.

They are now seeking a living donor before time runs out to save his life, Grimsby Live report.

Mum Rhiannon, of Scunthorpe, said: "I was told by the doctors that he was born with only one kidney which was functioning at just three to five per cent its normal function.

"Without the transplant he could die. I understand it's a major operation for someone to undertake. But I'm a mother who is scared of losing her son. I'm worried I will lose my baby boy."

Within weeks of his birth, Roman was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, a long-term incurable condition where the kidneys do not work as well as they should.

CKD gradually gets worse over time and eventually the kidneys may stop working altogether.

Roman is being kept alive through a dialysis machine which does the job his kidneys should do.

The toddler has been on PD dialysis since November last year when he was just six months old. He has to be on the machine for eight hours a night.

Roman Cook is in desperate need of a kidney transplant
Roman Cook is in desperate need of a kidney transplant

But because Roman only has one kidney which is working on limited capacity, he needs a kidney transplant immediately in the future.

If Roman's condition is untreated for much longer, the consequences could be fatal.

Simple things like bathing are made much harder for Roman as there is a chance his catheter could get infected and prove fatal.

Rhiannon said: "The things you would be wary of with a normal child are even worse with a child like Roman.

"He can't crawl because of his catheter, he can't walk because the dialysis makes him tired which means he sleeps a lot.

"He goes to Leeds Teaching Hospital for regular check ups

"He's just the most wonderful human being and you wouldn't be able to notice that he has a condition from looking at him. He's always happy and smiley and makes you happy.

"But the pain and difficulty he faces is something he overcomes daily.

"We're just really desperate to find my son a donor who can help transform his life because he's a happy, little boy who needs the help and care of someone to come forward and help him in his time of need."

Roman is blood group type 'O' and because of this, he will require a kidney from someone with the same blood group.

Rhiannon said: "Leeds Teaching Hospital will only consider undertaking the operation if the donor is healthy, below 50 years-old as Roman is so young.

"The chances of finding the right donor are limited and we as a family are at breaking point to find the match.

"Roman is almost at the finishing line with all the tests and scans he has had to find the right donor, but we're just waiting for that one miracle that will make our dreams come true.

"It's a life or death situation because Roman can't live on dialysis forever.

"We're desperate for a living donor because the success rates are much higher than those from a donor who is deceased.

"It can take weeks for the kidney to kick into action from a deceased person and it will likely lead to him needing more transplants in the future.

Roman is a happy and smiling boy, despite all his troubles
Roman is a happy and smiling boy, despite all his troubles

"The average waiting list for a deceased kidney donor transplant is two to three years.

"This has been made much worse by Covid-19 as there has been a lack of donors come forward because of restrictions.

"I'm not sure if Roman has two to three years to be honest and that is why we are putting out this appeal to save my son's life."

If you have been touched by Roman's story and would like to help him, please find more information about how you can become a living kidney donor.

Rhiannon has asked that you email [email protected] & use 'ROMAN COOK' as the email reference. You will then receive an email with a questionnaire to fill out. Then, there is a section for you to say that you wish to donate to a specific recipient. Please insert ROMAN COOK as the recipient.

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