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Young transplant recipient helps support Brenner Children’s Hospital

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LEXINGTON, N.C. -- An afternoon for Rose Burnsides, 5, is filled with doing homework, playing with her toys and making cookies with her mother. That may sound like your average after school activities but Rose’s life has been anything but normal since before birth.

Rose has been in and out of Brenner Children’s Hospital numerous times with intestinal and kidney issues. The pain and trauma was so much to deal with that Rose’s life changed completely following a kidney transplant when she was 2 years old.

“Before the transplant she didn't talk. She didn't eat. She didn't walk,” said Dana Burnsides. “Many times when she was younger I didn't hesitate, I packed up and went to the emergency room.”

Burnsides remembered one time there was so much fluid buildup around her daughter’s heart because of her kidney problems that mom witnessed her daughter stop breathing.

“I took her in because she wouldn’t stop screaming,” said Burnsides. “I looked down because she had stopped screaming -- well she had also stopped breathing. Her heart was so enlarged and she had so much fluid on it we ended in pediatric intensive care unit.”

The kidney transplant helped cut down on those emergency room and ICU visits but Rose still visits the doctor’s office several times a month for blood work, checkups and other tests.

“Last month we went about seven times,” said Burnsides.

The Burnsides are helping Wake Forest Baptist Health and Brenner Children’s Hospital with the new virtual fundraising effort Extra Mile for Brenner. The idea is to get people to post videos of themselves to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites doing an activity and challenge others to do the same. They’re hoping the hashtag #extramile4brenner can help the videos and the cause gain traction through social media.

Jeff and Dana Burnsides have done manual dialysis and watched their young daughter got through several different surgeries. They hope Rose is through the worst of her health troubles.

“I hope this kidney will last her 10 to 15 years,” said Burnsides.