Arizona 10-month-old home, happy and healthy after successful liver transplant

Valley mom, Shana Velazquez gave us an update on how her son is doing after having a liver transplant in California.

TEMPE, Ariz. - After a whirlwind and life-saving few months in San Francisco, 10-month-old Elijah Vazquez, is happy, healthy and home in Arizona.

Elijah had a successful liver transplant back in the middle of February and just got back to Tempe with mom, Shana Velazquez, a couple weeks ago.

“Amazing, just kind of like the next chapter trying to heal him,” Velazquez, said.

Elijah was born with biliary atresia, a condition that leads to liver failure. Without a transplant, his mom tells 12 News he would have passed away.

Prayers answered, Elijah had a successful transplant in Northern California.

“He’s been doing good," mom said. "He’s been gaining weight and he’s very active.”

Elijah is eating solid foods and he's cut down on his medication. Now, she can breathe a monumental sigh of relief for the first time in his little life.

“I feel more comfortable just being his mom and playing with him and doing everyday stuff,” Velazquez said.

Elijah still has a lot of doctors visits ahead of him and Shana will have to watch him closely as he grows up.

“The one thing that is scary is like school, viruses," Velazquez said. "A common cold to (his sister) is possibly a week in the hospital for him.”

But with the extra care and a lot of love, this tough 10-month-old is expected to live a long and healthy life.

Elijah's 4-year-old sister, Caitlyn, is having a lemonade stand to celebrate her brother on Saturday. It's from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Pecos Park.

The Velazquez family would also like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who donated to help them pay for Elijah's surgery. While insurance covers the majority of costs, there are still a lot of leftover bills to pay.

The Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is also helping them cover some of the costs. To see how much was raised for Elijah and to help other children like him, click here.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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