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Kentucky mother pleads for double transplant for 17-year-old on ventilator

Kentucky teen COVID-19
Posted at 9:44 AM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 12:14:08-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The mother of a 17-year-old boy on a ventilator is pleading for a miracle while her son waits for a double transplant.

Brandon Vaughn tested positive for COVID-19 on Oct. 30. After going to a local clinic in McCreary County, Kentucky, and then to a hospital in nearby Corbin, he was flown to the Kentucky Children's hospital in Lexington as things progressively got worse.

"His kidneys won't function. He's on dialysis, and he's on ECMO, and he's on the vent," said Brandon's mother, Pansy Vaughn.

It's now a race against the clock to get Brandon a new lung and potentially a new kidney.

"We don't understand how to tell a 17-year-old that he may not survive," Pansy said. "They approached us about doing a lung transplant, but where his kidneys aren't functioning, they won't do a lung transplant here. So, we're just trying to find somebody that will."

Pansy says doctors at Kentucky Children's are hoping Brandon's kidneys start functioning so that he can receive a lung transplant. However, if they don't start functioning soon, Pansy says her only option is to beg another hospital to take a chance and do a double transplant to save his life.

"They [Kentucky Children's] said they tried to reach out to multiple institutions, and they denied them," Pansy said.

She's now praying for a miracle that someone, somewhere, will be able to help.

"Please help him. He's 17. He has his whole life ahead of him," Pansy said.

Pansy says Brandon loves the outdoors, and she hopes he can one day get back to doing what he enjoys.

Brandon has spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and will soon spend New Year's Day on a ventilator. Pansy doesn't plan on taking him off as long as his heart is still beating.

"There are times where we are hopeful, and then other times, we're bawling our eyes out, scared we're going to lose our baby," Pansy said.

This story was originally published by Christiana Ford on Scripps station WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky.