Girl, 4, to be youngest in family to receive kidney transplant

Piper Dougall, 4, was born with just her right kidney. Doctors said she will soon need a transplant. Luckily, a donor is coming forward.

Four hours of dialysis would be difficult for anyone, especially for a 4-year-old. 

"Her legs get really restless when she’s sitting and gets uncomfortable," said Piper’s mom, Haley Dougall. 

Piper Dougall was born with just her right kidney, which currently is only functioning between 4 and 8 percent. In December, doctors determined she needed a transplant.

In January, Piper started her dialysis routine, three days a week. To pass the time, she plays with toys and watches movies and YouTube videos.

Kidney concerns are not new for the Dougall family. Piper’s grandma had two kidney transplants before she passed last year. Plus, Piper's dad Tim received a kidney from her mom back in 2014 before they were married. Since then, Tim has also beat papillary thyroid cancer twice. The full extent of kidney troubles being hereditary is unclear, but evident.

"We did genetic testing at Mayo Clinic and here at the [University of Minnesota]. They did find a mutated gene, but that’s about it," said Haley. "They don’t really have the research on it."

Now after entering a paired donation program, Piper’s aunt is giving her kidney to a someone in Connecticut. On St. Patrick’s Day, Piper will receive her perfect match from a 49-year-old man from Pennsylvania. 

"It’s crazy for me to believe someone is willing to donate to a stranger, it just blows my mind. I can’t believe it," said Haley. 

Now, the countdown to more smiles and fewer hospital visits is on. 

"We are looking forward to Piper feeling better," said Haley. "She’s never actually felt good before."

Piper’s family started a GoFundMe page to help with medical expenses. For more information, click here