Imagine the thrill of being able to finally
do something you've wanted to do your whole life. For eight-year-old
Lyndon Baty from Knox City, Texas, that experience was going to
school — and this spring, he finally got to do it.
Lyndon was born with ARPKD in 1996. Doctors diagnosed the condition
shortly after his birth and told his parents the disturbing statistics
regarding life expectancy and ARPKD. "We were shocked since
we didn't have any family history of the disease." But the
parents did everything in their power to keep their hope —
and son — alive. While there were a number of medical challenges,
Lyndon made it through his first four years on his own. He needed
to start dialysis in 2001.
Lyndon's parents, Sheri and Louis, say his
health has always been a struggle, but Lyndon has been up to it.
"He's always had a very good attitude," says Louis. One
of the things the parents felt was helpful was telling him about
treatments before he received them so he could prepare himself.
Even on dialysis, the Baty family kept the faith. "You have
to know that God has a plan, and it's out of your hands," Sheri
Baty said. "You just take your kids and love them just how
they are and enjoy every minute you have with them."
Lyndon received a kidney transplant in July 2003. Since then, he's
been a new kid. His parents say even in the hospital, he was bursting
with energy. He would clean up every room that looked even a little
dirty. He's been nicknamed "Mr. Clean."
Family Photo: The Baty Family:
(L to R)
Lyndon, Louis (Dad), Chance, Sheldon and Sheri (Mom)
When starting school, you'd think Lyndon would
have to make a lot of new friends, but he didn't. Turns out he already
knew many of the kids in his class. From the beginning, family,
friends, and the community rallied around the Batys to form a strong
Lyndon now helps return some of that support
to others in the community as well. He has put together a presentation,
and he gives talks about his life before and after the transplant.
He's spoken before several area groups including the regional Lions
Club. He's even been invited to speak before the state retired teachers
Sheri and Louis say Lyndon's going to do the
same thing other 8-year-olds will do — other than play football
or anything else that might cause trauma to the abdomen. Other than
that, he has a new life ahead of him. "He gets to do things
he's never done before," says Sheri Baty. "Not bad for
a little boy who wasn't expected to live."