14-year-old receives the 5,000th kidney transplant at Texas transplant center

Mid-South

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — The University Health Transplant Center in San Antonio is celebrating its 5,000th successful kidney transplant this holiday season.

Austinite Hayes Atkins, 14, received his new kidney right before the holidays.

“I was kind of like, excited, I guess. And also nervous at the same time,” Hayes said. “We got the best surgeons.”

It’s something Hayes knew needed to happen.

“We’ve known since he was born that his kidneys were affected by issues at birth,” Hayes’ mother Sara explained.

What the Atkins family didn’t know, however, is that his mom was the perfect match.

“People keep saying you know, it’s amazing that you did this, I think any mother would have jumped in and did the exact same thing,” Sara said.

She gave him her kidney in November, but any procedure during COVID-19 comes with complications.

“That was the first thing we did when we got here the day before surgery is that they both got a COVID test,” Hayes’ father Winn explained.

He said receiving the kidney in the year 2020 will not go unappreciated.

“There’s a lot of people hurting out there…We were thankful that we could get in here and get the surgery done. And get home and recover, you know, during the holidays,” Winn added.

Hayes is already seeing results.

“I won’t to have to take the nasty medicines that I used to take. And I’m more energetic. And I’ll start to grow more. So that’s good,” Hayes said.

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