Missing Fresno Teen Dialysis Patient Found

FRESNO, Calif. Police initially figured Desiree had run away. But with time running out, her mother along with Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer appealed to the community for help.

"We're asking that the members of this community if they know the whereabouts of 16 year old Desiree Marie Mendez to contact the Fresno Police Department immediately." Dyer said.

About an hour later police received a call. Desiree was found. After getting the news her mother said, "I'm happy now, at least she's alive and she can be treated."

Police say Desiree was found at the home of a male acquaintance. His parents called police after seeing media accounts of her disappearance. They had not been aware of her medical problems. She was taken by ambulance to Children's Hospital.

On Wednesday night Hospital spokesperson Michelline Golden told the media, "She's doing remarkably well for a young lady with her renal situation. She has missed only two dialysis treatments because she has them overnight tonight would have been her third. And Doctor's said earlier that missing that third treatment would have been a crucial point for her so they are very glad that she is here, and she appears to be in very good condition."

Desiree has had a rough time. Born with a kidney problem, she was on dialysis until she was 12. She received a kidney transplant from an aunt, but that failed after just two years.

Doctor Sahar Barayan, a pediatric kidney specialist said Desiree had been a good patient, despite spending ten hours a day on dialysis, and was in line for another transplant.

"So when there's an appropriate kidney that matches her tissues she will be getting a kidney. She was doing very well."Barayan said.

But depending on the circumstances, Dr. Barayan says this episode could cost Desiree her place in line for a kidney meaning an even longer wait.

Her mother said that will make things even more difficult. Amanda said, "She doesn't like the waiting part. I don't think any of us do but for a teenager, not being able to live a normal teenage life it's harder."

Golden says it will be up to the transplant network to decide if the incident will delay any transplant. As of midnight Wednesday, Desiree was still undergoing treatment at Children's Hospital of Central California.

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