SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – An Antioch toddler was recovering Wednesday following 12 hours of surgery in San Francisco in which he received a new kidney and a new liver.
Two-year-old Matthew Ouimet was born with a rare disease called primary hyperoxaluria. His kidneys failed after being on dialysis for most of his young life.
“He’s the hero and he’s the reason why were all here together and he brings everyone together and he just a beautiful little boy and we’re all just here to support him and make sure he’s okay,” said his sister, Brittany.
PHOTOS: Antioch Toddler Recovers
Matthew underwent the rare double transplant surgery at University of California, San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital. He received the adult-sized organs from a young man who died in a car crash.
Matthew’s family got the call two days ago that the organ match was found. “Our son is going to have a full life and it is going to have purpose and filled with love and I promise that it will not be in vain,” said his mother, Kristi Ouimet. “I promise that it will be meaning to it and he’ll have the life that that the donor was not allowed.”
“We do not forget what that donor did for us and for our family,” said father Kelly Ouimet. “We are very thankful.”
His family says they’re grateful for the outpouring of support they’ve received, both online and at UCSF.
“He’s struggled since pretty much since he was five months old and to see him life a normal life is like the best gift ever,” said his sister, Jordan Pfalzer.
Doctors said the surgery went well as expected and were monitoring how the larger organs were adapting in the little boy’s body.
“He’s a fighter,” said Kristi Ouimet. “We have all the faith in the world.”
Kristi Ouimet said her focus now is on telling her son’s story in hopes others are inspired to be organ donors to save more lives like Matthew’s.
Matthew was expected to be recovering in the hospital’s intensive care unit for at least a week.
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