DACULA, Ga. — After his 12th surgery, a Georgia 2-year-old is bouncing back with new life.
Carter Bish is all smiles a few months after his kidney transplant. His mom said she's taking the surgery a bit harder, especially since she was his donor.
"We're doing well," Pamela Bish said. "My recovery was brutal to be honest - just was surprised because I wasn't expecting that level of pain but all is good now. Carter is happy and full of it!"
11Alive's Hope Ford first spoke with the Bish family in May, when Carter was faced with another health hurdle.
Pamela said Carter started defying the odds early in his life. Doctors said Carter wasn't supposed to be born alive and then told his parents to not hold out hope.
Now Carter is edging toward his third year of life and one wouldn't know about the dozen of surgeries he's had since birth.
“To put in catheters, to take out catheters, to clean up infections," Pamela said, describing life after his hip surgery. “He was in this full-body cast, which was awful.”
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Carter's kidneys were in bad shape since birth, meaning care didn't stop after his surgeries. There was a lot of maintenance to help keep Carter going like dialysis three times a week. Each session lasts about four hours.
Then Pamela learned she was a match -- and just as she gave him life, she was ready to give him a kidney, too.
"I wanted to be the one," she previously said.
The Dacula family went through this milestone for Carter and have been monitoring his recovery.
"Everything went as planned and we're almost the four-month mark," Pamela said. "Still lots of monitoring and lands and medicines to keep the kidney working."
Because Carter is so young, he may need another kidney transplant in 10 to 20 years. With mom one kidney down, the family jokes his brothers will have to take it from there.
For now, Carter roams the hospital wings as a happy toddler, ready to play at home too.