18 month old Max was born with kidney failure and at three days old had to start dialysis. It really hasn't been an easy ride for the poor little guy. Over the past 18 months he has had four peritoneal dialysis lines inserted in to his tiny tummy and many other procedures to correct a blockage in his bladder and insert a peg tube in his tummy so he can be intravenously fed. Poor Max has also suffered from numerous infections and has to spend 12 hours attached to a dialysis machine a night.
What's absolutely amazing about Max though is despite his problems he is the happiest most positive little boy you could meet. He is constantly smiling and laughing and you would never know that he is unwell. He's such a little inspiration! He has masses of support from his Mum Michelle, Dad Shaun and two older sisters and older brother and he's clearly adored by all of them.
Max and his Daddy
Max really needs a kidney transplant but it's been a long tough road to get him ready for it. He had to weigh 10 kilos in order to have the surgery which isn't easy when you have a baby who doesn't eat and is only tube fed but Max managed it and Michelle went through the tests and is luckily a perfect match for him. The operation will go ahead early next year and Max and Michelle will then travel up to the Evalina Children's Hospital in London where Max will be given Michelle's kidney. After Max is ready to leave hospital, he and Michelle will move into hospital accommodation where they will live for 6 weeks. With the family based in Weymouth it won't be easy but Michelle and Shaun are determined to make it work and to make sure they all see each other as much as possible.
Michelle and Max
Despite Max's illness and low energy levels he is constantly moving around trying to walk and wanting to play and read books. After the transplant Max will feel normal and have masses more energy - Michelle's going to be chasing him all over the place!
Max didn't want to have his hourly tube fed and wanted to play instead. It isn't easy having a child with kidney failure.
He soon settled down though and was proudly showing me his tube and grinning away as usual again.
Max was fab to photograph, always posing for the camera and laughing. Such a cute little tyke. And it was also ace to chat to the lovely Michelle too.
Whilst I was photographing Max and Michelle a reporter came along from the Dorset Echo and wrote a rather nice article on us all. You can read it here.