OMAHA, NEBRASKA -- He's been in our thoughts and prayers for months. Now he has new hope. Back in November, doctors told 10-year-old A.J. Nye he'd need a new liver and small bowel. This past weekend, a donor made that transplant happen in the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
"He's off the ventilator and breathing on his own and able to talk to us and tell us how he's feeling, so it's a great blessing.," said A.J.'s mother, Allison Irons. The liver and small bowel transplant that A.J. received will help him wave goodbye to a life of health problems. "It's called gastroscisis, where the intestines are formed outside of the body. And then as soon as he was born they had to put them back in," said Allison.
More than 30 operations later, A.J. his mom Allison went back to Omaha, Nebraska, where A.J. received his first bowel transplant in 1997. "We've just loved everybody here. They've just saved his life so many times," said Allison.
She is also grateful to the people of northwest Ohio and Michigan. "They helped us raise $100,000 in four months for the first transplant.and that carried us through these eight years of those transplant expenses," said Allison.
And it's no different this time around. "We have to raise $80,000 and we've raised probably between 20-$25,000 already," said Jules Nye, A.J.'s grandfather. He and his grandmother hope he can enjoy life's little pleasures again. "He's looking forward to being able to swim again, to eat again. He wants to eat his macaroni and cheese, his mom's tuna salad," said Rita Nye, A.J.'s grandmother.
For now, mother Allison is by his side, thankful for the gift of life someone else gave, and the hope it brings to her son. "He's my inspiration. He makes mothering easy on me. He's an awesome patient. Awesome son," said Allison.
A.J. says he's most excited about drinking water. He can now drink one ounce an hour. The family knows there could be small follow-up surgeries, but at least they know what to expect.
Count on News 11 to keep you posted on A.J.'s condition.