Holiday miracle: Kentucky teen receives life-saving double transplant

Marquis Davis' family has been waiting for more than a year for news that he's been cleared for a needed transplant and they got the call in time for Christmas

A Kentucky teen has received a miracle of a Christmas gift in the form of a badly needed heart and kidney transplant.

Marquis Davis received the life-saving surgery at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Ohio earlier in December, ABC News reported. The teenager was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition that rendered the left side of his heart underdeveloped and unable to handle the circulation that his body needs to survive, according to the hospital’s website.

The condition has meant a lifetime of visits to hospitals and doctors for Marquis. He had open-heart surgery when he was just five days old and his first heart transplant at the age of 3, according to ABC. At age 10, his body began rejecting his heart and one of his kidneys was failing. Then, last year, came the crippling news for Marquis’ mom, Sherri Withrow — that he would need not only another heart transplant but a kidney transplant too.

Withrow, who lives in Lexington, Ky., woman told the network, though, that her son has weathered all of it like a pro.

“He’s a fighter,” Withrow said. “He never shows signs of giving up.”

She said the repeated ordeals have strengthened her too.

“I’ve been through it the first time — this time, I was like, ‘OK, we got this. We are going to be on the (transplant) list no matter how long it takes,” she said.

Withrow also said she also hopes to convey her emotions to the donor family.

Marquis’ life-saving marathon 17-hour operation took place on Dec. 2. A medical executive at the hospital explained Marquis’ condition and the procedures.

“Marquis has been a fighter for quite a long time,” Dr. Clifford Chin, medical director of pediatric heart transplant at the hospital, told ABC. “Not only did he develop disease in his first heart transplant, the effects of the transplant medications over time caused his kidneys to not work well.”

Chin added that he and the rest of his medical team were doubtful that the teen would survive the second heart transplant without a new kidney too. Less than 50 combined heart and kidney transplants have been done in children, the physician said.

“Based on limited information in the scientific literature, he now has the best chance for long-term survival,” Chin said.

Marquis will spend Christmas at the hospital and expects to be released in February, ABC reports. His mother said he’s looking forward to walking in his cap and gown at his high school graduation next year.

Said Marquis’ sister, Porsha Jackson, “He’s been fighting his whole life and never complains, and I admire that most about him.”