New Kidney Keeps Jose on the Soccer Field

Jose Mendoza likes playing soccer, texting on his phone and attending Springdale High School with his friends. He’s a regular teenager who has faced extraordinary obstacles. Jose is blind and is the only one in his family who speaks English. Yet, he doesn’t let anything stop or slow him down, including a new kidney.

His mother, Ofelia said how thankful she is for Arkansas Children’s and the entire team who has been helping her son. “Everyone has been excellent.” There is a team of dedicated specialists behind every transplant patient including: social workers, transplant coordinators, Child Life specialists, nurses, doctors and in some cases, interpreters.

Eileen Ellis, M.D. is one of Jose’s doctors. She said despite all the barriers Jose faces, he is doing fantastic. Dr. Ellis credits the support system Jose has at home, at the hospital and even at school. One of his high school teachers translated the transplant material into brail and interpreters at ACH translated materials into Spanish for his family. “Everyone loves him,” she said.

One of his teachers even volunteered to be a living donor to help him. He is well-liked and an inspirational to all, especially other kids who receive a transplant. Jose stays positive and is a true teenager at heart. He said his new kidney allows him to enjoy more foods and that he’s excited about eating enchiladas and pizza. Jose is also ready to join his friends on the soccer field.