Fire Department Helps Martin Boy Celebrate One-Year Anniversary of Kidney Transplant
BY DAVID FISHER
MARTIN (July 29) — Members of the Martin Fire Department helped brighten the day of a Martin boy recently with a parade of firefighting equipment driving past his home a year after the youngster had an organ transplant.
Ten-year-old Ty Boyd, son of Kim Boyd, celebrated the one-year anniversary of his kidney transplant July 29, 2020.
Ty and his mom stood out in the front yard of their Roma Street home, waving to Martin firefighters as they drove by in several fire trucks with flashing lights and the sound of blaring horns and sirens to help make his day more special.
According to Martin Assistant Fire Chief David Blake, the event was organized by Martin 911 dispatcher Katie Perry and Firefighter Kory Green, in consultation with Ms. Boyd. Martin firefighters Jodie Hazelwood, Brent Cantrell and Josh Wilson drove Ladder 1; Cody Greeson and Green rode on Engine 9; David Ary and Lee Demarchio brought Engine 2 and Jeremy Hicks and Jonathan Witherington drove Medic 1.
Several family members and church friends also joined in the parade to show their support.
It looked like Christmas morning inside the home, with numerous gifts provided by family, friends and well-wishers.
“He got a bunch of toys and snacks he enjoys,” Ms. Boyd said.
She states Ty was on a dialysis machine for a year and a half before he received a kidney transplant at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis. Ty and his mom stayed at Le Bonheur Family House, sponsored by FedEx, for a couple of weeks following his surgery at no charge. She said, “The transplant institute, affiliated with Methodist Health Care Hospital, has been wonderful. I’m very grateful for the guidance and support he has received from Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.”
“Medically, he’s doing well,” Ms. Boyd said. “Of course, it’s a balancing act with the medications. The doctors are keeping a close watch on that.”
Ty’s mom says her son had his monthly medical checkup Monday, August 10, to see if any adjustments need to be made in his medication. She states Ty recently received his one-year biopsy, which is standard procedure. “The results of these tests indicate he’s doing well, overall,” Ms. Boyd said.
She says Ty’s immune system is compromised because he is taking medication to prevent his body from rejecting the kidney transplant. For this reason, extra care must be taken to guard Ty’s health to prevent getting an infection, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Concerning his surgery, Ty said, “I had a kidney transplant and I turned out just fine.”
As a recommendation of his treating transplant team, Ty will participate in online virtual learning at home instead of attending in-person at Sharon K-8.
Due to Ty’s lowered immune system, he must maintain minimum contact with other people. Ms. Boyd states she took him to a park recently for the first time this year. “There were only a few people around and he wore his mask,” she said. “We don’t have visitors in the home. If there are visitors, we meet with them outside; and he very seldom goes inside a store.”
Ms. Boyd said, “Ty is doing well. He surely misses seeing and interacting with everyone, which makes it difficult, due to his compromised immune system.
“Every time the Martin Fire Department’s presence has been requested, they have been more than willing to do so. I’m very appreciative and grateful. They have been very awesome and kind.” She notes having people like the Martin firefighters is one of the great things about living in a small town.