Back and ballin’

Kylie Fox recovers from a mid-season kidney surgery


Fiona Dunn

Kylie Fox catches an inbound pass from Kiera Easterly during Fox’s very first practice back. Fox started out the year on JV, but early in the season (before her kidney surgery) Fox was asked to swing for the Varsity team.

Kylie Fox, a freshman basketball player, missed more than a month of her first high school basketball season–and no, not because of COVID. Fox needed surgery: “I had a disease in my kidney, and it was making me very fatigued.” 

Jadyn Kipe, one of Fox’s closest friends, gave her input on the situation, as she spent a lot of time with Fox both before and after the surgery. Kipe explained that prior to Fox’s diagnosis, “She would sleep all the time. She would get 13 hours of sleep, and then she’d be awake for thirty minutes and feel the same amount of tiredness as if she stayed up for 24 hours.” 

Thinking back to her memories with Fox pre-surgery, Kipe admitted, “I didn’t notice that she was so tired. We would go out at night and we would hang out and she couldn’t. She would be asleep all day and miss so many days of school because she was so tired.” 

When Fox’s fatigue continued to worsen, her parents decided to take her to the doctor and figure out what was causing such extreme tiredness. The doctors performed many tests before discovering the problem stemmed from one of Fox’s kidneys.

“She had two surgeries. They drained her kidney in one and put in a stint in so it would hold. The first surgery they went and cut in through three areas of her stomach, and the second one wasn’t as invasive,” explained Kipe. 

However, Fox’s recovery period was not free of drama: “It was two weeks for her first surgery. Her second surgery was actually an emergency one because it was supposed to be a week later but because she was in so much pain, they had to do it earlier. It took her a week and a half to recover from the second one.” 

I don’t think anyone else would’ve bounced back as fast as her.”

— Jadyn Kipe

Fox is now back at basketball, but as Kipe remarked in the interview, “She’s about 75% back. But the thing is, about Kylie, it’s really surprising that she’s bounced back this fast. I don’t think anyone else would’ve bounced back as fast as her.” She thinks that Fox is also just “trying to get back into the groove of things.” It’s hard for any basketball player to stop practicing for a month and then immediately get right back into it–even when they haven’t just had two surgeries in their abdominal area. 

Despite the somewhat rocky return, Fox couldn’t hold back her enthusiasm about being back on the court. She described it as “amazing,” but also took a moment to note the emotional distressors that sitting out had led to: “It was very hard to just watch all my friends be at basketball, so it’s really nice to be back and playing.”

As the days progress, and the amount of time since Fox’s surgery grows, both her and Kipe believe it has made a substantial impact on Fox’s energy and quality of life. Fox feels considerably more energized than pre-surgery–and really just feels a lot better overall. As Audrey Counts, another of Fox’s friends, said, Kylie Fox is “back and ballin’.”