June 06, 2020
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Maine girl, 11, who is missing lower spine, turns to social media for new kidney

CBS 13 photo courtesy of Alison Pooler
CBS 13 photo courtesy of Alison Pooler
Emily Pooler of Auburn in an undated photograph. Pooler is now 11 and needs a kidney transplant.

An 11-year-old Auburn girl has battled serious health problems all her life, including a rare condition in which she was born without part of her spine. But her current battle is perhaps the most urgent of them all.

“I’d be really happy if I could get a kidney from someone, so I could live longer,” young Emily Pooler told Portland’s WGME, CBS 13.

Pooler’s family was told by doctors three years ago that, in addition to 16 other medical conditions she’s been plagued with over her life, she now has stage four chronic kidney disease as well. Doctors said at the time she would need a new kidney in a year and a half.

Three years later, Pooler is still fighting. And with no donor having emerged, she’s taking her pleas for help to social media, sharing a video on Facebook asking for someone to step forward. That video has reportedly been shared more than 400 times over the week in which it’s been online.

“She’s been a fighter since birth, and she’s proven to doctors that anything is possible,” her mother, Alison Pooler, told CBS 13.

According to CBS 13, Pooler was born seven weeks prematurely and over her life, has been diagnosed with myriad ailments, and she’s currently taking 14 different medications to treat them. Among her medical conditions is one called caudal regression syndrome, which affects one in about every 25,000 newborns, in which the baby is born with an abnormal and incomplete development of the lower part of the spine.

Alison Pooler told local television station WCSH her daughter has had 10 surgeries in just four years and that her risk of kidney failure continues to increase the older she gets, making her case more urgent as time goes on.

Potential donors will need to have type A or O blood, and will need to call the Maine Transplant Clinic at 207-662-7180, ext. 4, to ask to get tested to see if they might be a donor match for Emily Pooler.


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