During episode 2 of Season 16 of Sister Wives Kody Brown mentions Truely’s kidney issues while discussing the family’s vulnerabilities concerning COVID-19. What happened with Truely’s kidneys and is she ok now?
Truely’s illness was documented on Episodes 15-16 of Season 6, as well as other episodes that aired that season. The episodes aired in January 2014, and the terrifying health ordeal happened in August of 2013 when Truely was only three years old.
Truely fell ill while all four of the wives were away on a rare trip together without Kody. The women went to San Francisco to shop for dresses for their upcoming family commitment celebration.
While they were gone, Kody was responsible for taking care of the kids but it soon became obvious that Aspyn Brown and the older kids were doing more active parenting, especially when it came to Truely’s health.
Episode 15 showed Kody trying to wrangle all of his kids. This was when they all lived in houses near each other on the cul-de-sac in Las Vegas. When his daughter Ysabel hurt her toe, Kody accidentally burnt some steaks while trying to care for her.
The next day Kody took the kids over to a neighbor’s house to swim in their pool, and then they went bowling. The next day Truely was feeling very ill, and she had started feeling bad while the family was bowling. She was despondent and her older sister Aspyn said that Truely had kept her up all night because she was so restless. Kody said she didn’t have a fever, but suspected that she had the flu.
At this time, Aspyn said Kody had been calling her incessantly, which was getting to be a lot. Kody says he could not have taken care of his kids if he did not have teenagers to help him.
By the time the wives came home (without any dresses,) Christine found Truely in even worse condition. Mykelti informed Christine that Truely had been crying. Sometimes she would let them comfort her, but other times Truely didn’t want anyone to touch her.
At the point where Truely had been sick for five days, Christine decided to take Truely to the doctor. Truely had remained listless and had gone cross-eyed that morning. Meanwhile, Kody was off buying Mariah a car because she was about to leave for college.
Christine received dire news at the doctor’s office. Their pediatrician Marlon A. Mendoza was extremely worried about Truely’s condition and told her to take Truely to the hospital immediately. He suspected brain tumor, meningitis, and kidney failure.
Once admitted to the hospital, Christine was worried that Truely may not recover from her condition. She was diagnosed with kidney failure. She was completely dehydrated and her kidneys had shut down. Kody later explained that Truely’s kidneys had shut down because she had gotten sick with the flu and didn’t drink enough water. Kody had been the adult in charge during this time when Truely was in desperate need of staying hydrated.
During a family prayer with the rest of the Brown family, Aspyn burst into tears while trying to pray for Truely. She felt like no one in the family was taking Truely’s situation as seriously as it was. During this time, Meri asked Kody not to come to take Mariah to college like was previously planned.
Doctors didn’t want to start her on dialysis right away so they gave her a medication to try to get her kidneys to start functioning again. The medication helps induce urination, but it didn’t work with Truely the first two times they tried it. With options drying up, doctors decided to start Truely on abdominal dialysis.
At that time Christine worried about telling the rest of the children how bad things may be with Truely. Aspyn suspected that things were really bad, and was terribly worried that Truely’s condition wouldn’t improve.
Kody was worried that Truely had given up hope, so he promised her that they would have a “Pee, Poo, and Potty” party if she peed in her diaper. When he told her that, Truely’s eyes twinkled for the first time in a long time.
Truely’s condition was still pretty bad as she wasn’t eliminating anything. Her electrolytes were off balance because they couldn’t give her any more liquids because everything was staying inside of her. Even her dialysis didn’t work at first.
Kody says a nurse told them that usually, cases like this ended in death. He likened the experience to looking “down the abyss.” Christine says the first seven days of Truely’s hospitalization were the scariest days of her life.
Things finally started turning around on day nine at the hospital. Her kidneys weren’t working, but the dialysis was finally working and eliminating toxins from her system. Her numbers immediately improved drastically and she was no longer in danger of dying. Eventually, Truely’s kidneys started working again and she was able to finally go home.
“You know what? It was all a challenge, but we got reconnected with Truely. We got reconnected with each other,” Kody says looking back at the harrowing experience. “In the busyness of life sometimes you can take each other for granted, you can take your children for granted, and we got pretty close to the edge there. . . We should just forget about the unimportant things and just remember the important things.”
The family did host a “Pee, Poo, and Potty” party for Truely when she started feeling better. They wore tiaras and had balloons and tea, which Truely enjoyed exceptionally.
The experience led Christine to be more present in her children’s lives going forward. It made her appreciate everything so much more.
Truely Brown is now 11-years-old and has not had any other issues with her kidneys as far as what has been shared with the public.