Long-time kidney patient is gifted a football watch party by his pediatric care team

Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital kidney transplant team plans a Big Ten championship watch party for a longtime kidney patient in Indianapolis.

From a kidney failure diagnosis when he was a month old to his eventual kidney transplant in 2019, 7-year-old Kayson Mcphearson has spent so much time at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis that his pediatric nephrologists and care teams feel like family. 

"I met him shortly after he was born, within the first month of life," said Mona Zawaideh, MD, pediatric nephrologist at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. "As a baby, Kayson had to go through periods of dialysis, and his family had to learn how to do that at home."

After receiving his kidney transplant, Kayson blossomed into an active boy, playing flag football and riding his four-wheeler and dirt bike. He also continued visits to the hospital for check ups. 

Knowing Kayson’s love of football, in 2023 Kayson’s care team at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital nominated him as a kid captain for the Big Ten NCAA Football Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. As one of the kid captains, he would be invited to the field for the pregame coin toss and then watch the event with his family in a stadium suite. 

However, a few weeks before the event, Kayson and his family learned that his transplanted kidney was failing. Because of the dangerously high levels of waste products dumped into his blood, he was admitted to the hospital and would miss the game. 

Kayson at watch partyWhen news spread through Kayson’s care team that he would miss his big moment, they contacted the Big Ten which overnighted University of Iowa swag, Big Ten Gear, and snacks for a watch party. His care team also decorated the teen lounge and filled it with food and games so his family and fellow patients could watch the game with him. 

"This hospital means so much to me because, if it weren't for them, I wouldn't have Kayson,” said his mother, Ashlee Fuller. I am very grateful for this hospital, and all they've done for us. And I'll never forget what they've done for my son."

Advanced kidney transplant care 

If your child is a candidate for a transplant, the doctors, specialists and care teams at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent in Indianapolis deliver a family-centered approach to care focused on the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of your child and family. As part of a national team of doctors who share best practices and research, and collaborate on advanced treatment options, our surgeons use their network to match your child with a kidney as soon as possible. 

To learn more about advanced kidney transplant care from a pediatric nephrologist at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent, or to make a referral, visit ascension.org