DACULA, Ga. — There’s the saying you’d give your right arm to help someone you love-- and a Georgia mom is proving that old sentiment true
On the outside, Pamela Bish's son Carter is like most two-year-olds. He's learning to tie his shoes and still enjoys a good pacifier.
But on the inside, his mom said Carter’s a little different
“We knew even before he was born,” she said about her son's kidneys. “Swollen and filled with fluid and pretty much destroyed.”
Bish added that early on Carter started defying odds.
First, he wasn’t supposed to be born alive. Then his parents were told to not hold too much hope.
“He would likely pass away hours after birth," Bish said she was told.
Now he's in his terrific twos. One wouldn't know just looking at him that he's had 11 surgeries since birth.
Bish said those challenges made motherhood different than what she originally anticipated.
“To put in catheters, to take out catheters, to clean up infections," she said, even describing life after his hip surgery. “He was in this full-body cast, which was awful.”
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.
“He takes about 10 medications every day," Bish added.
She said she holds him close to help get him through it all. And soon, she's going to do a lot more than hold Carter.
"I can give him a kidney," she said. "I wanted to be the one."
Bish, the person who gave him life wants the chance to save it too.
“That was my dream, that was my prayer, from before he was even born, that I would get to be his donor," she said.
Bish found out she's Carter's perfect match -- which isn't always easy to find. Without hesitation, she agreed to help her son through one more surgery.
“I look back at pictures of him from the NICU and I look at where he is now, and I’m just, it’s just astounding. It’s just unbelievable,” Bish said.
The family, who lives in Dacula, will travel to Atlanta for surgery which is scheduled for July 18.
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.