The mum of a three-year-old boy in desperate need of a kidney transplant has harnessed the power of social media to raise over £5,500 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where her son is being treated.

Karen Bahia, from Coventry, began documenting her little boy, Harvey Kang’s journey with a rare condition called posterior urethral valve (PUV), on her Instagram account, just after he was born.

It was during Karen’s 20-week scan that doctors noticed Harvey’s kidneys were enlarged and diagnosed him with PUV. The tube that carries urine out of the body was blocked, causing the inflammation, but it could have a knock-on effect on the development of Harvey’s other organs, including his lungs.

Karen’s heart broke as doctors prepared her for the worst, warning that her baby may not survive pregnancy or would likely only live for a few hours after birth. However, Karen wasn’t ready to give up on her baby.

Karen and Harvey were monitored as the pregnancy progressed. Then, three weeks earlier than his due-date and defying the odds, baby Harvey was born with a healthy and strong cry, just to prove his lungs were fine. At two-days-old, Harvey was transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he was admitted to the renal ward for checks on his kidneys. It was there that specialists confirmed to Karen that, unfortunately, Harvey’s kidneys were failing and that he would need a transplant. Although expected, the news was still heart-breaking for her to hear, but she tried to keep positive – Harvey had made it this far already, after all.

When Harvey turned two, he was put on the transplant list and started dialysis at home, to help clean waste from his blood in place of his kidneys. He has had a number of stays in hospital for infections over the years and has also undergone operations to change and insert tubes, so that he could begin receiving more intensive dialysis at the hospital three times a week. It was while Karen sat watching her little boy undergo his treatment that she decided she wanted to give back to the hospital and its staff.

Karen had already gained many followers on her Instagram account, detailing their journey, so on Harvey’s third birthday she took the opportunity to ask for support, setting up a Just Giving page to collect donations in aid of the hospital. With a modest target in mind, Karen asked her friends and followers to help her raise £1,000, but within 24 hours, she’d raised over three times the amount, and within a week, the total was at over £5,000.

Karen said: “We’ve been on a rollercoaster with Harvey, but we wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for the incredible staff on the renal ward. From the doctors and nurses to the wonderful play team and housekeepers, we consider them an extension to our family. We are so grateful for the care that Harvey has received so far, but also the support I’ve had, as I’ve watched my baby boy go through so much.

“Dialysis is such a long and tedious treatment and the children on the ward are sat for hours on end, so as well as saying thank you for the care that we’ve had, I wanted to raise money to help provide forms of entertainment for them.”

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Seeing Harvey go through so much at such a young age must be so tough for Karen but by sharing hers and Harvey’s story on social media, she’s managed to capture the hearts of so many. By calling on them to give what they could for our hospital, Karen has raised a phenomenal amount to help do more for sick kids like Harvey and we’re so grateful.”