MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida family has something special to celebrate this holiday after a teenage boy in need of a kidney had the good fortune to find a match within the family.
Fourteen-year-old Parker Stevens’ story of survival would not be complete without his older brother, 23-year-old Talbot Stevens.
“We’re 10 years different in ages, so I’ve kind of been there when we were growing up. We were never playing on the same team or anything,” said Talbot. “I was always, like, a coach or helping him out.”
Parker’s older brother helped him in the truest sense. Just over a year ago, the teen was diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis, a rare blood vessel disorder.
Parker and his family had to face the reality that his kidneys were failing. “I reached out to anyone and anyone who would listen,” said Melanie Stevens, the boy’s mother. “I had people praying for us in every nationality.”
Parker was on dialysis for 11 months. Fortunately, Talbot was a good match for his brother. “It’s my brother. They said he needed a kidney, and I said, ‘What time are we doing it?'” he said.
Last Tuesday, he donated his kidney to Parker. “It’s amazing. It’s beyond anything I could have dreamed about,” said Melanie. “I mean, I laughed and I said, ‘Today is the Fourth of July, and we’re getting out on the Fourth of July. How cool is that?'”
On Independence Day, Parker left the hospital. For the first time in a long time, he awoke with his new kidney and felt good.
This July 4th, he is experiencing the truest sense of freedom. “It’s just being able to be a normal kid again,” he said.
The teen said he will forever be indebted to his brother. “I don’t think I can pay him back for what he did for me, but I’ll try,” he said.
“He has attacked this disease and beat it,” said Melanie, “and I have never been so proud of our boys as I am right now.”
Parker might have a scar from his surgery, but he has emerged victorious from this battle he fought with his brother by his side. They will be at home together, knowing that they are forever connected.
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