When Lucas St. Onge blew out the five candles on his birthday cake, he made just one wish. He didn't ask for ninja turtles, a T-ball set or Nintendo — the only thing he wished was to be like any other kid.
"It was a gift I couldn't give," says his mom, Heather.
On that same day, last May, Lucas got his wish. He received a liver, stomach, pancreas, intestine and spleen — the five organs he needed to live.
To understand how Lucas got here, it is necessary to go back to where it all began — at birth. Lucas came into this world with multiple intestinal blockages, which left him with short bowel syndrome. Doctors didn't expect him to survive, but his mom demanded a second opinion.
When they arrived at Boston Children's Hospital he was only two months old. A test revealed he also had a rare, genetic condition called severe combined immune deficiency (SCID), which meant he would need a bone-marrow transplant — immediately. His then five-year-old brother, Noah, was a match.
But the bone-marrow transplant merely bought time, lessening his SCID symptoms. The short bowel syndrome remained. Lucas needed a multivisceral transplant.
A year later, Lucas is a different boy than he was before transplant. "He plays T-ball, he is learning piano, he is climbing, and growing and gaining weight," says Heather. "Watching Lucas eat is like watching a baby laugh for the first time. It is simply amazing."