After two year stay, 3-year-old patient discharged from American Family Children’s Hospital

MADISON, Wis. — Kingston Wraggs is only three years old, but he’s seen more adversity than many of us will see in our whole lives.

After a two-year stay at American Family Children’s Hospital, he has finally been discharged, something doctors thought may never happen.

“We sometimes didn’t think he would ever leave the PICU, or leave the hospital,” nephrologist Dr. Allison Mahon said. “We don’t really use the word miracle in medicine, but Kingston is a miracle.”

Kingston was born in October 2018, a seemingly healthy baby. But when he was just three months old, his parents noticed a bulge in his abdomen. After visiting a physician in La Crosse, he was taken to American Family Children’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome.

The syndrome causes too much protein to pass through the body. The protein is essential to managing infections and allowing the body to grow and develop. For Kingston, the only cure would be a kidney transplant, but he was too small to get one.

While they waited for him to grow, doctors gave Kinston a port to receive supplemental protein. He was also given 20 additional daily medications, many administered through an IV. He received his feedings through a gastronomy tube that was surgically attached to his stomach.

Just before his first birthday, both of Kingston’s kidneys were removed, forcing him to go on dialysis at home. In September of 2020, Kingston’s father Tommy Wraggs saw that he was uncomfortable and took him to the emergency room.

“My daddy instinct said, ‘take him now,’” Wraggs said.

They arrived at 2 a.m., and Kingston soon went into cardiac arrest, though doctors and nurses were able to revive him. He had developed a flesh-eating bacterial infection where the gastronomy tube met his stomach, an infection that would keep him in the pediatric intensive care unit for nearly a year.

Once the infection cleared he was ready to receive his new kidney and moved to the surgical unit to await a transplant. The perfect match came in June.

“Kingston beat so many odds,” UW Health Kids pediatric transplant surgeon Dr. Tony D’Alessandro said. “Even just finding a kidney donor that could work for his size and complications, it is so gratifying to see him discharged from the hospital.”

Kingston and his family will spend time at the Ronald McDonald House as they transition to life outside the hospital.