A 12 year old boy fighting for his life has a second chance. When a soldier from Vermont found out about the boy's life-threatening condition, he risked his career and even his own health to make sure the child has a chance at survival.
"He touches lives and hearts everywhere," Eric Larmay, who donated his kidney said. "He's really just a unique and special kid."
"Didn't think a kid like this with so much energy and life could be sick like this," Cody White, Hunter's step dad said.
12 year old Hunter Mitchell was a star on his school football team.
"Think of the road runner and times it by a thousand," White said.
"Hunter was the smallest kid on the team," Sonya White, Hunter's Mom said. "But he had the biggest attitude. He was not afraid to go up against the biggest guy."
But Hunter was about to face a giant of a different kind.
"I hit my knees," Sonya said. "It was devastating."
It was during a physical for football, Hunter learned both his kidneys were fused together. After several complications, doctors feared the worst.
"He was in renal failure," Cody said. "He needed a kidney transplant ASAP."
His stepdad Cody serves step dadAir Force at Ft. Bragg, NC alongside his friend Eric.
"Military friends, it's actually family," Larmay said. "You create a bond that is a family bond. As soon as I learned of his condition, I said without a blink of an eye, I'll do what I have to do to be tested."
"That is truly the biggest gift I could have ever thought of receiving," Sonya said.
Though they're not related, amazingly, Eric was a perfect kidney donor match.
"We've just gotten a lot closer," Larmay said. "It's almost like we were supposed to cross paths."
"I didn't want him to give a kidney with it affecting his career," Cody said. "He sat us down and he said, 'your son's life is more important than my career.'"
"I've been putting myself in Sonya's shoes the whole time and I can't even imagine what she's gone through and how I were to feel if someone were to do this for my son," Jordan Larmay, Eric's wife said.
This morning, Eric had his surgery at UAB and Hunter was waiting at Children's of Alabama. Just hours later...
"Still a little groggy but every time we walk in he gives us the thumbs up!" Cody said.
While we were talking to Eric at UAB, Hunter's mom came to say thank you.
"Seeing Eric after he just gave his kidney to give my son life - that's a moment I am never going to forget," Sonya said. "Just being able to wrap my arms around him and tell him thank you."
Hunter is still in the ICU at Children's of Alabama. So far, his family says he's recovering well.