A kidney, and new life, for little Ryder Geisler

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

Little Ryder Geisler is a happy boy who hasn’t had a happy time of it. The two-year-old son of Desiree Teubert and Kyle Geisler of Sleepy Eye was given a less than 1% chance to survive at birth. Desiree said he was on life support the first month of his life, still can’t walk or crawl, is on oxygen at all times and is on dialysis every night from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. 

That is all about to change for Ryder who will be getting a kidney transplant from a living donor, who doesn't know him, on March 19. 

The Geisler family, Ryder, Kyle Geisler, Desiree Teubert and Kayden are pictured when the boys were baptized on Oct. 30 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lester Prairie.

“Ryder will turn two on April 9,” said Desiree. “What a wonderful birthday present—a second chance at life.”  

Ryder’s donor is an Eagle Grove, Iowa, woman named Heather who saw a Facebook post about Ryder by Desiree in August. The woman decided to fill out an online application to be his kidney donor. She then underwent vigorous testing and doctors at M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center notified her that she is a near-perfect match. Heather will also undergo surgery on March 19 to donate her kidney to Ryder.

“When I was 19 weeks along in my pregnancy with Ryder, they found in the ultrasound that he had no amniotic fluid and that there was cysts all over his kidney,” said Desiree. “They referred us to a hospital in the cities for a second opinion, where they confirmed that Ryder had bilateral multicystic dysplastic kidney disorder. We went for a third opinion at Mayo and lastly a fourth opinion.”

“Every doctor told us that terminating the pregnancy would be the best option, as he was not going to survive. The last hospital, which is University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, listened to our wishes to continue with the pregnancy and gave us the best care,” she said. “Kyle believed in Ryder more than anyone else. He knew he was a fighter.” 

Ryder couldn’t breathe on his own and didn’t cry when he made his arrival into the world on April 9, 2019. He spent the first 3 weeks of his life on life support or ECMO. He had several blood transfusions and had 4 plus chest tubes placed. He spent the first four months in the NICU, then one month in the PICU, then one more month on a regular floor, said Desiree and Kyle. 

“He got to come home the day he turned six months old,” said Kyle. “He has been on peritoneal dialysis since birth. We go to the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital at least once every two weeks for labs, sometimes more, and at least once a month for kidney appointments. Ryder has seen every type of specialist there is.” 

Ryder’s doctors expect he will be inpatient for 10 to 14 days post-transplant and then the family will go to the Ronald McDonald House for anywhere between three and six months as Ryder will have labs three times a week. 

“They tell us we should see a whole new kid in Ryder and his new abilities,” said Desiree. “Their goal is to get Ryder off oxygen after the transplant as his pulmonary hypertension isn’t as bad and feel he will grow out of it. Ryder should be playing and developing just like normal with his new kidney.

Ryder’s family moved to Sleepy Eye in January, but Kyle has lived here in the past and in surrounding towns. Kyle and Desiree both stay home as Ryder is high-risk and they can’t risk getting him sick.  Ryder has a six-month-old brother, Kayden.

Kyle and Desiree moved to Sleepy Eye in January, they said they found the best house in their price range here. Kyle grew up living in Sleepy Eye and surrounding towns, so knew that moving here could be an option. Desiree said living close to the New Ulm hospital, where Ryder goes for physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech, is also a plus. They think Sleepy Eye lake is beautiful and enjoyed the Christmas lights. The other plus to living in Sleepy Eye is that Ryder’s grandma and cousins live in Fairfax, bringing family closer.

If you want to help Ryder with a donation, cash donations can be deposited in the Ryder Geisler savings account at SouthPoint Credit Union. There is also a Facebook site with t-shirts , sweatshirts,  and coffee mugs for sale at facebook.com/groups/870410310469583/?ref=share. They also have a Venmo account: DesireeKyleandKids.

Best wishes to Ryder and Heather in the coming days for a successful surgery and speedy recovery.