Army vet donates kidney to save life of young boy

Army vet donates kidney to save life of young boy

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A local Army veteran is donating his kidney to save the life of a young boy.

For more than two years, Jon Erikson served our country, ready to fight for our freedom. Now he is ready to sacrifice part of himself for a little boy who is fighting for his life.

Ethan Hamilton, 8, has been in and out of the hospital since he was born. He has a rare disease called Eagle-Barrett syndrome.

"It's basically, his stomach has no muscles….basically, they've had to reconstruct his stomach," said Nancy Erikson, the boy's aunt.

Ethan has been on dialysis since January and is in desperate need of a kidney. No one in his immediate family was a match.

One day, Nancy noticed her husband and Ethan shared the same blood type: A-positive. Jon was tested and was a perfect match. Without a second thought, he decided to give one of his kidneys to Ethan.

"I'm not special at all. I'm just doing what people should do if they have the opportunity," Erikson said.

Ethan says he has no worries about the surgery. He'll be in an operating room at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston on Tuesday while his Uncle Jon's kidney is removed at Emory.

"They'll keep it ice chest and bring it over here. It'll be in my body and I'll be better," Ethan said.

While the guys seem to be taking it all in stride, other family members are calling the perfect match a miracle.

"He's giving the ultimate sacrifice for my nephew…it's just amazing what he's doing," said Nancy. "He's giving Ethan a second chance at life."

Ethan will have a four-legged companion, Lancelot, in the operating room. The dog has comforted him through the entire process.

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