(WFRV) - Evan Tanner is being called a miracle thanks to a medical breakthrough that could save millions.
At birth, Evan Tanner was given a zero percent chance of living. Today, he's alive happy and continues to beat the odds.
"He always has a smile on his face," Evan's mother Alison Beier says.
But he was born with a laundry list of issues and on top of all this.
"We knew in the womb he had no left kidney," Alison says, "he had a right kidney but that kidney was full of cysts."
"Anti-bodies had built up in Evan," Dr. Gerald Lipshutz says.
"Antibodies like this that are high enough at the time of the transplant, would cause, in this case a kidney transplant, to reject it on the operating room table," Lipshutz says.
But through a blood cleansing process at UCLA Evan, who is type-A, could receive a kidney from his mom, who is type-AB. In a two step process Evan undergoes IVIG, where antibodies are isolated from donated blood and high doses are infused into Evan. This helps keep his body from attacking a donated kidney after transplant.
"The other arm of the treatment is plasma pheresis," Lipshutz says, "it actually physically removes proteins from the blood stream."
It takes two and half hours, three days a week, for several weeks. But, it allowed Evan's mother to give her baby boy a new kidney.
"When they do an ultrasound," Alison says, "they laugh because they look for a little kidney and there's like this little body... And then bam! It's like a big kidney."
It's been month's since the transplant and Evan's still going strong. Evan's doctor has a 94-percent survival rate with this type of transplant.