S.A. teen on road to recovery after story helped find liver
by Sarah Forgany / KENS 5
SAN ANTONIO -- The family of a 13-year-old teen has new hope this Christmas.
KENS 5 first brought you Ricky Evans' story last Friday.
After the news report aired, Dr. Jose Almeda and Ricky's family say they were flooded with phone calls. Within 48 hours, Dr. Almeda says a family from out of state heard of Ricky's story and donated the liver.
Almeda says the response was so overwhelming that they were also able to secure backup donors from San Antonio.
Ricky remains at Christus Santa Rosa Children's hospital as he recovers in the Intensive Care Unit.
Almeda says the 13-year-old is responding to his liver transplant quickly.
"Ricky is not out of the woods yet, but he's heading that way," Almeda said.
Ricky received his transplant early Monday morning. Three weeks ago, Ricky went from being in perfectly good health to being in a coma for two weeks.
"He's here with us. He's here with everybody for Christmas. That's a big gift," said Rosemary Nunez, Ricky's mother.
"Thanks to the San Antonio community, thanks to KENS 5 and thanks to all the awareness, Ricky's life was saved," Almeda said.
Ricky's family members say they're also thankful to Almeda, who performed the operation on Ricky and did everything in his power to save Ricky.
Almeda says San Antonio has the only living donor liver transplant program in Texas at University Hospital.
"My goal is that no kid in Texas should die while they're waiting for an organ," Almeda said.
Almeda also said Ricky has also brought hope to other children who are in need of a liver.
The doctor told KENS 5 while there is usually a shortage of donors, they now have a list of potential donors who are ready to save more lives.
Almeda said there are about 20 more children currently in need of a liver at the hospital.