ST. LOUIS, MO – Nine-year-old Ryan Wallace was ready to give his kidney to save his grandpa Jerry Walton or paw paw’s life no matter what.
“Mine was a lot younger than mamees, so I just wanted to give mine instead,” said Wallace.
The young boy called a family meeting and announced that he’s going to donate both of his kidneys.
But the young boy didn’t have to after all.
“You just can’t believe your kids would do that for you,” said his grandmother Carolann Walton.
Carolann’s kidney was a perfect match for her husband.
“A little bit of pain, 20, 30 years more of my buddy is a pretty good deal,” said Carolann. “They wheeled him into me and I got to see him and touch him and it was the best.”
Jerry is the 5000th kidney transplant recipient at Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center.
“We’ve impacted 5,000 patients who no longer require dialysis, 5,000 patients who now get to spend far more quality time with their families and they loved ones and in many cases watch their children get married,” said Gene Ridolfi, program director for the organ transplant center.
Surgeons also helped Mark Mastroianni get a new lease on life.
“It was a big sigh of relief,” said Mastroianni.
The type one diabetes patient not only needed a kidney transplant but also required a new pancreas.
“I don’t know exactly who it is, I don’t know much about the donor but you know after that I tried to get my siblings and friends to sign up to be a donor because you can’t believe how that gives somebody else another chance,” he said.
Since the transplant Mastroianni has ran a marathon and continues to stay active with his workouts.
“I haven’t been this healthy or had this much energy since I was in my 20’s or early 30’s , it’s unbelievable,” Mastroianni said.