Monday, September 12, 2011
Kyle Hicks is finally home. The Wichita teen has returned home to the community that rallied around him, and helped him get a life-saving transplant.
Kyle and his family, and many Wichitans, fought with insurance companies and held hundreds of fundraisers to make the surgery happen. After receiving the transplant in April, Kyle has come home with some amazing news about the skin disease that has plagued him all of his life.
This is the day Kyle Hicks tells me he has been waiting for for 19 years. He is back home after a successful transplant that many thought would never happen.
But not only did we get to welcome Kyle home, we got to see something for the first time in Kyle's life, exposed skin. There are actually two places where Kyle has been able to remove the bandages that have been wrapped around his body since the day he was born.
Kyle says he hopes, within time, the transplant will change his skin so much that he will be completely bandage free. He stepped off the plane Monday, almost pain free, for the first time in his life.
It has been a long road for Kyle. There have been years of having the transplant on-again and off-again, and Wichitans raising over a quarter of a million dollars in fundraiser after fundraiser. But now, with Kyle making a surprising recovery, Kyle's mother is too grateful for words. "I'm so happy," she says. "I so hope Kyle has a good life."
And to the community, Kyle's mother has a special message. "I just want to say thank you so much for all their support," she says. " I couldn't have done it without them. It gave me my dream come true."
Doctors at the University of Minnesota tried a new protocol on Kyle that has been so successful they will now use it on their other transplant patients with the same skin disease. Kyle, meanwhile, is looking forward to starting his second year at Butler Community College.