Tennessee boy gets Christmas gift of life with new kidney


FARRAGUT, Tenn. (AP) — A 13-year-old Tennessee boy got the gift of a lifetime this Christmas — a new kidney.

Kincaid Eaker was born with polycystic kidney disease, a chronic genetic condition that killed his two older brothers in their infancy, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. His mother had planned to donate a kidney to Kincaid when the time was right, but she died three years ago. With her death, Kincaid lost not only a mother but also the promise of a kidney that would help him live.

When Kincaid’s kidney function dropped to 19% and then 14% late this year, friends and family acted quickly to find him a donor.

His Farragut community donated money for treatment costs, organized fundraisers and spread the word to search for a donor match. Then on Christmas night, a call came from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta saying it had a kidney for Kincaid.

“This is a wonderful gift, and the timing is perfect,” Kincaid’s grandmother, Elaine Touton, told the paper.

Kincaid is doing well after the transplant, Touton said. He already is texting his friends, thinking about the summer swim team and craving a banana, which he hasn’t been able to eat in two years because of the disease.

Kincaid will have to stay in Atlanta for up to four weeks for follow-up care and then will be home-schooled when he returns to Farragut, but Touton said he will finally get to live the life that others his age already enjoy.

He’ll get to eat “all the macaroni and cheese and pizza” he wants and “not tire out after a walk.” He will also have to be monitored closely, take medicine to prevent his body from rejecting the new kidney, and visit Atlanta once a month for checkups.

“The number of people who have donated and helped has been overwhelming and humbling,” Touton said. “You always hear about the bad in people, but times like this, you get a glimpse at the good.”