By Glenn McEntyre
Wednesday November 12, 2014 6:24 PM
UPDATED: Wednesday November 12, 2014 6:42 PM
GALLOWAY, Ohio – A Galloway family is facing the heartbreaking prospect of what could be their final holiday season with their 10-year-old son. Earlier this year, 10TV introduced you to Sam Williams, a boy who has been fighting to survive since birth. He needs an organ transplant to save his life. The approaching holidays could be the best time to consider the gift of life.
Sam Williams has more spirit and personality than a 10-year-old’s body can contain.
But his body is failing him and just a few minutes of the fantasy of living like a carefree boy leaves him breathless.
We first met Sam in April, soaking up the joy of a spring day. The days of playing outside with his friends are now gone. “I want to play with them outside, but I don’t have the energy,” said Sam on Wednesday.
Sam was born with his intestines outside of his body. More than 30 surgeries, including a liver transplant in 2005, only delayed a terrible chain reaction of organ failure.
“His liver is not functioning properly either, with his now also causing his lung function- doesn’t work properly. And what’s most affected now is his heart,” said his mother.
Leaving Sam and Mallory Williams’ little boy tethered to an oxygen tank 24 hours a day and no longer able to go to school with his friends.
“We were told at the end of July that he probably wouldn’t be here in years’ time,” said his father, for whom Sam is named.
His only hope is a new liver and small bowel via organ transplant. The Williams know Sam’s solution will come at a terrible cost for another mother and father. “A child his size would have to die – a healthy child – in order to save his life,” said Sam Sr.
At the tender age of 10, Sam knows too well the reality of his situation.
“It was said, you know, 1,500 people die a year waiting for a transplant,” said Mallory. “And (Sam) made a comment and said ‘I really hope I’m not one of them.’ He just waits for that phone call. And I think he’s starting to lose hope.”
Hope, in this house, is growing hard to come by.
“I don’t want him to be one of those numbers,” said Mallory, through tears.
Every parent has dreams for their child. For the Williams’, those dreams are starkly simple: one phone call that could change everything.
Asked whether he believes that call will come, Sam said, with a laugh, “I hope. That would be a celebration for me. A three-day party.”
Sam is one of more than 3,300 Ohioans waiting for an organ transplant. Every 48 hours, one of them dies.
Lifeline of Ohio urges all of us to take advantage of the holidays to discuss organ donation with your loved ones, and make your wishes known.