‘Miracle baby’ grows up to be mother’s transplant savior

When Evelyn Bowens became pregnant with her third child 30 years ago, a doctor suggested an abortion. She was 35 years old and had a weakened cervix, which can lead to miscarriage or premature birth.

But Bowens insisted on keeping the baby. Seven months into her pregnancy, she gave birth to a three-pound, 12-ounce boy she named Miles Lowe. He spent the first weeks of his life in an incubator and had an operation to remove hernias in his stomach before he was a month old.

Bowens called him her miracle baby. Now she calls him her miracle worker.

It’s his kidney that is keeping her alive.

“The miracle of this whole thing is, I had a high-risk pregnancy, and they told me to get rid of Miles,” said Bowens, 65. “If I had gotten rid of my son as a baby, I wouldn’t have this kidney.”

Miles, 30, has always cherished his mother — she was a single mom of three who sometimes worked three jobs to make ends meet. She taught ­elementary and preschool in Brooklyn and Queens, tutored at night and on weekends, and worked as a children’s music minister at their church in Hempstead, LI, while suffering from high blood pressure.

“A lot of people don’t have their mother to take care of them or show them love, and she showed me love and put a roof over my head all these years,” he said.

Miles was the youngest, and when his siblings went off to college, a teenage Miles would bring his mother’s blood-pressure medication to her bedside every night, and the two would chat about their days.

Four years ago, Evelyn’s creatine levels spiked to the point where her doctor said she would need to have a kidney transplant, and would have to go on dialysis if the operation wasn’t done soon.

“I was always tired and hunched over,” Evelyn said. “Everything tastes like a piece of metal, because your body’s not being detoxed. I couldn’t go to the gym or dance. You want to stay in bed all day.”

Miles didn’t have to think twice.

“Right then and there in the doctor’s office, they told me, ‘She is going to need a transplant,’ and I said, ‘I will do it, ma, we have the same blood type,’ ” Miles said. “I didn’t even ask my wife. I was just like, ‘I have to go do this for my mother.’ I owe her.”

But the solution wasn’t so simple.

Evelyn’s bloodstream produced antibodies during her pregnancies that would reject Miles’s kidney and likely her other children’s, doctors told her. Left with no other options, she put her name on the transplant list and waited for a donor. With her rare blood type, B-positive, doctors told her it could be a six-year wait.

Miles never gave up hope. He and his siblings convinced Evelyn to move back to Long Island from upstate Yorkville, where she could be closer to more doctors and hospitals. But a second doctor turned down Miles.

Then they met surgeon Dr. Bonnie Lonze of the NYU Langone Transplant Institute, who explained that through a process called plasmapheresis, they could filter the faulty antibodies from her bloodstream.

Miles, a letter carrier, passed all the medical-screening tests and the surgery was done last June.

This Mother’s Day, Miles and Evelyn are celebrating a year of good health — and a bond that is stronger than ever.

“Mothers don’t get enough credit,” Miles said. “A mother is the first teacher of a child. They mold their whole world.”

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