Healthy & Happy: Khadijah Sabir gets a post-transplant check-up from her doctor, Dr. Eduardo Perelstein. Credit: Julia Xanthos Liddy
On Khadijah Sabir’s 11th birthday—surrounded by friends and family during a party in her honor at her Brooklyn elementary school, PS 177—she received what she calls “the best gift ever.” After months of incapacitating exhaustion due to chronic kidney disease, which necessitated at least 10 hours of dialysis every night for months, she got the news: a kidney donor had been found.
When Khadijah was just 9 her parents had started noticing that she seemed more fatigued than her three siblings, often falling asleep as soon as she got home from school. Eventually, high levels of creatinine in her bloodwork prompted a visit to a nephrologist, who discovered that her kidneys were failing, likely due to her extremely elevated blood pressure. “We couldn’t believe it,” says Khadijah’s father, Sajid Sabir. “Her blood pressure was worse than an old man’s.” By the time the problem was identified, Khadijah’s kidneys were in such bad shape that she was almost immediately transferred to NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, put on dialysis, and added to the transplant list.