2-year-old Watauga County boy receives life-saving kidney transplant

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's National Pediatric Transplant Week. Currently, there are more than 60 kids in North Carolina are on the waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant.

For almost all of these children, the wait can be long and unpredictable. But the wait is over for one 2-year-old boy from Boone named Levi Boyter.

The boy's mother, Danielle Boyter, said before he was born, doctors told her Levi's kidneys weren't developing correctly.

"They diagnosed him with poly cystic kidney disease, and that he would need a kidney transplant when he got big enough," she said.

Danielle Boyter said she immediately knew she wanted to be the one to give her baby boy a kidney.

"I got to the very end of the process, I was a blood type match everything was looking good. I had a final scan and my kidneys weren't anatomically good for him," Danielle Boyter said.

But she said her devastation quickly turned to joy when that same day, her brother in law stepped in to help. "Joel, Levi's uncle, was a match and was cleared to be his donor."

Her son's transplant was performed in January. It lasted about 6 hours and it was a success. "I think it's pretty close to a miracle," Dr. Jack Weaver, who is Levi Boyter's doctor said. He practices pediatric nephrology.

Weaver said doctors have performed a lot of successful transplants at the Levine Children's Hospital. But unfortunately, a lot kids like Levi who need transplants have to wait for a donor, Weaver said.

"Nationally there about 2,000 kids on the waiting list," said Weaver. Luckily, Levi Boyter didn't have to wait long, Weaver said.

"He has an amazing uncle who gave him this great gift," said Weaver.

You can find more information on the National Pediatric Transplant Week here.

Copyright 2018 WBTV. All rights reserved.