TAMPA — At three years old, Adonis Ortiz endured more than most people do in their entire lives.
Born with his organs outside of his body, Oritz underwent a first-of-its-kind successful 5-organ-transplant.
Now three years later and at 5 years old, he’s opening up to 10News WTSP for the first time.
At first glance, 5-year-old Adonis Ortiz is a little shy.
You can’t blame him. For almost half of his life, he’s had to deal with this.
The huge scar you see from his pelvis to his sternum marks a miracle.
It’s where doctors — in a one-of-a-kind procedure — successfully transplanted five organs into a child.
“I call him my little Superman,” said Ortiz’ mother, Aracelis.
For her, the recovery hasn’t been easy.
“They will look perfectly fine with smiles on their face and then BOOM. They’re on the floor,” she said. “If he starts running a fever, it’s like OK, is it the organs? Or is it a cold?”
But spend a little time with Adonis and you’ll see. He’s just like any other kid who loves to play, and has a mom who adores him.
“I love looking at him,” Aracelis said as her son played with his Legos.
The Ortiz family brought us into Adonis’ room.
“Adoni, what’s your favorite food?” Aracelis asked. “Sweet potato!” he replied. “With what?” she asked. “Mango!” he said with a giggle.
Like a lot of kids, Adonis wants to be in the FBI.
It only took a few minutes of us entering his room for him to get dressed in his police uniform.
“Is mommy under arrest?” Aracelis asked her son as he placed play handcuffs on her.
“Yeah!” Adonis replied.
“Where am I going?”
And he already knows how to do way more than most.
“Here. You want to put it on?” Aracelis asked her son as she passed her 5-year-old a plastic baggie. It’s for the machine that gives Adonis milk through the tube still connected to him. At five, he knows how to prepare and operate the medical device.
It’s another sign Adonis is growing up. But even that is a challenge.
“You know your kid’s growing and they’ll have like some growing pains, but they’re not having that stretching pain of all the scars,” Aracelis said.
When those scars hurt, Adonis hugs his bear, Buddy.
“Why do you like Buddy, Adoni?” Aracelis asked.
“He’s my favorite . … I love him!”
On the door to his room, you can see the measurements Aracelis has taken of her son as he’s grown. They’re marked in blue, black, and red pen.
It shows how tiny Adonis was four days before the transplant.
Since then the Ortiz family has celebrated so many firsts.
Two years ago, Adonis came home for the first time.
Just last year he had his first day of school.
And in the last month, he’s had his first milkshake, he went into the Gulf, and he’s just now talked to us.
Aracelis says for other parents, “It’s kind of like, oh, it’s just tomorrow … but, for us, it’s like … it’s tomorrow.
Tomorrow is a brand new day that you’re still here, that you’re not in the hospital, that you’re not getting surgery, that you’re not getting poked and prodded and tortured all day long, so it’s like, yeah. What DO you want to do tomorrow?”
To learn more about Adonis’ condition you can head to http://averysangels.org/.