A little boy from Fluker, Louisiana is defying the medical odds. Now, his mother wants to give him a second chance at life, and it's a mother's gift, along with a gift from the New Orleans community that are giving him new hope.
When Kizzy Solomon was expecting her first child, she was told it was unlikely she would bring her baby home.
"They told us that if he did make it into the world, that he'd probably be a vegetable," remembers Solomon.
Apollo had a birth defect that blocked the tube for him to urinate. He was born two months early, weighing less than four pounds. That was nearly four years ago, but because his kidneys were damaged, Apollo has been on dialysis his entire life.
So this week, Kizzy will give Apollo one of her kidney's for surgeons at Children's Hospital to transplant into his little body.
"I would do anything for him. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I mean, it's so many things just going through my mind because only thing I just want him to be healthy," she said.
"Those are one of the most rewarding moments in my career, because you can see, really witness, I mean, the improvement in the quality of life, how well they do, after a kidney transplant," explained Dr. Diego Aviles, a Nephrologist at LSU Health Sciences Center who practices at Children's Hospital.
But Apollo still has many medical needs. He can not urinate normally. He has a vesicostomy, so urine comes out of a surgical opening in his lower abdomen, and he has been prone to infections.
"Because every time we try to get him into a school, they accept him, but then when they find out he has all these medical problems, they just turn him down. And it hurts, because I know he could keep up with the other kids," said Kizzy as she wiped tears from her cheeks.
So Kizzy hasn't been able to work for three years. This is why the Hogs House, just opened today, with funds raised from the Hogs for the Cause food and music festival, is life changing. She and other families can stay on Children's Hospital campus, while healing away from home. Hogs founder has pledged $2 million to the cause.
"Being able to just relieve some of those emotional and financial burdens, it's tantamount to help physical healing," said Becker Hall, Founder and CEO of Hogs for the Cause.
It gives Kizzy hope for Apollo, who walked at eight months, even though she was told it would take six years, and who at three can spell and count, without going to school.
"I just want people to know when you see kids that are different, give them a chance," encouraged Solomon.
Meg Farris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.