Menomonee Falls boy thrives years after lifesaving kidney operation

Posted at 10:39 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-12 23:39:44-04

A Menomonee Falls family is thriving, despite a health scare that threatened the lives if their two little boys several years ago.

When you visit Dustin and Lindsay Scaife’s home, you're immediately struck by how tidy the big house is despite the two boys who live and play there.

It’s not that the 5- and 8-year-old brothers don’t make messes, it’s just that they clean the messes up when play time is over. Within a few minutes of our arrival on a recent Friday night, the kitchen table was covered with an assortment of crayons and this reporter had joined the boys in making an instant collection of raw, Crayola creations.

“I usually like to color a lot,” declared big brother Parker as he clutched a fistful of colored wax.

“Me too,” chimed in little Kelton.

That the Scaifes have two healthy dynamos in constant motion isn’t something the young parents take for granted. When Parker was born eight years ago, his kidneys didn’t work at all. Doctors told the couple their first child was unlikely to live more than a few hours.

Parker, though, hung in there. When we first met the boy in October 2009, he was a tiny 11-month-old surrounded by plastic tubing and going through daily dialysis treatments. At that point, his parents were trying to put weight on their child so that he could undergo a life-saving kidney transplant. Lindsay Scaife was prepared to give that gift of life after learning she was a match for her little boy.

In March of 2010, we visited the Scaifes on the eve of the important operation. Dustin was more than a little anxious, aware that within hours the two most important people in his life would both be going under the knife.

Lindsay, though, was fully upbeat about what was ahead.

“You know truthfully, it’s the greatest feeling in the world,” she said with a smile. “We’re so fortunate that one of us was a match for Parker, so we don’t have the stress of waiting for a deceased donor and not knowing when the kidney’s going to get here.”

Needless to say, the operation was a success. When Parker was 5 years old he was at last tube free. We went from the spring of 2010 until April of this year before seeing Parker again. The healthy, happy Parker Scaife of 2017 is an intelligent, engaging, utterly charming little boy.

As this reporter gushed over the boy, Parker interrupted me to make a point.

“I have a really great family,” he said earnestly.

For their part, the Scaifes are eager to talk about the need for organ donors and the important work being performed by the Children’s Organ Transplant Association or COTA.

“I encourage people to take a step back and think about, is this an option for you?” Lindsay said as she watched her boys coloring furiously. “Because there’s a lot of need in the world.”

The Scaifes credit fundraising by COTA with easing the difficulties they faced in going through the transplant surgery. You can learn more about COTA and help the organization perform its important work by visiting its web site

Dustin Scaife said his family has continued to be involved in the organization and in its fundraising efforts, praising COTA for the help it provided. If there are two things this young father believes in, they are COTA and faith.

“Faith is a huge part of our family,” he said. “When Parker was born and we were told that we would be lucky if he lived hours, we were celebrating every minute we had. At some point we realized that no one here, we’re not in control. The doctors aren’t in control. God is in control and he, regardless of what we did, he plan was going to prevail.”

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