Local teen needs help with double kidney transplant journey

A local teen is one step closer to getting new kidneys. His family is asking for help getting...
A local teen is one step closer to getting new kidneys. His family is asking for help getting back and forth to Birmingham’s UAB Hospital to get him the life-saving help he needs.(Lee Peck FOX 10 News)
Published: Jul. 10, 2022 at 10:22 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Judging by his basketball skills -- you’d never know -- 15-year-old Devin Smith has been living with kidney failure his entire life. Devin was diagnosed with hydronephrosis shortly after birth.

“It’s been hard -- I have to do a lot of stuff during the day,” said Devin.

As his primary caretaker -- his mom -- Erica Watson doesn’t work to ensure he gets the care he needs, which includes a strict diet and processes that need to be done every four hours.

“It’s not just Devin on the journey... I’m on the journey with Devin. So it’s like when he’s sick -- I’m sick. So it’s been some ups and a lot of downs,” said Erica.

There have been good times. They consider USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital like family and were even gifted a “Make a Wish” trip to Disney World in 2019.

“I was like wow! It was fun,” recalled Devin.

Then came the blood work results Mother’s Day weekend -- revealing Devin is now in stage five kidney failure in need of a double transplant.

“We always knew it would get to this point. I just didn’t think I would be caught off guard the way that I was. It was the weekend of Mother’s Day... So of course my Mother’s Day was sad. Because you know I was crying the whole Mother’s Day,” said Erica.

Erica is need of reliable transportation -- and the funding to make the trips to UAB Hospital in Birmingham. While her dream is to get Devin the care he so desperately needs -- Devin’s believes his dream of finally being able to play on a real basketball team is within reach.

“I don’t know -- but hopefully after I get them -- I can like play basketball. Because that’s what I really want to do. I’ve been wanting to do that for so long. That’s all I do,” said Devin.

Their first appointment at UAB Hospital is August 29th -- where they hope to get Devin on the kidney transplant list -- then begins the waiting game.

“We still have to make the doctor’s appointments in between but it’s a waiting game for the kidneys. Devin is a fighter -- and that’s what keeps me going... Is Devin,” said Erica.

“It means a lot to me -- knowing that she is with me through everything.... because some people don’t have that,” said Devin.

There are several ways you can help Devin in his journey. This Thursday -- July 14th -- from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dreamland Skate Center in Tillman’s Corner is dedicating that night to Devin.

The family also has a Gofundme page (click here). Erica also plans to do blog updates through Devin’s entire journey (click here).


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