Remarkable Recovery: Enderlin boy thriving after triple organ transplant

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WDAY: FARGO—A little boy from Enderlin is recovering from a life threatening and life saving transplant surgery.

You may remember Alex Leach from a story we did with him last summer about his love of phone books.

It’s hard to forget his witty personality.

He really is unforgettable, and he turned into a national sensation.

When we first told you about Alex, we shared how he read these phone books to pass the time while waiting for a liver, pancreas and intestinal transplant.

After that, we received dozens upon dozens of white and yellow pages from around the country.

After waiting for over a year to get organs, his family just recently got the call.

Another walk down the halls at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha, for 13-year-old Alex Leach.

Grabbing nurses or anyone else along the route with mom in tow, wheeling an IV stand, trying to keep up.

Candi Leach: “He walks fast. Very fast! but we walk anywhere between 5 and seven miles every day,” said Alex’s mom Candi Leach.

This routine has no boundaries (elevator nat) even venturing outside… (nat name license plate) where each day, every license plate is checked, documented and tallied.

This little boy’s energy and love of numbers is astonishing, but not nearly as impressive as those of his recovery.

Just one month ago, Alex, who suffers from chronic organ issues, underwent major transplant surgery.

“I was kind of in disbelief,” his mom tells us.

They got the lifesaving call on June 2nd, saying a liver, pancreas and intestines were finally available.

20 minutes of packing and a 6 hour drive down I-29 later, Alex then underwent a long awaited surgery.

“I cried for a while, and then I just paced a lot,” Candi Leach tells us.

Dr. Wendy Grant has been with Alex since he was a baby.

Their longtime bond reaffirmed in both’s love of country music and agreed choice on what she’d play during his transplant: Eric Church Pandora.

“He was really yellow, pretty sick,” Dr. Grant told us.

While Alex and Dr. Grant were in surgery, Candi and her husband wrote a letter to the family who lost a child who was an organ donor.

“I thanked them for giving us a chance for him to have a real life to be like other kids and, you know, play again,” his mom told us.

A child they know nothing about who gave Alex everything.

“I have some bad days where I just see him laughing and I’m so happy at one point and then i cry because I think of the family that won’t be able to see their child laugh or play,” his mother told us.

Alex, understanding the gravity of what happened, says he hopes to talk to his donor’s family some day.

“I’d say thank you for your guys’ organs. And I’m like, sorry for your guys’ loss,” Alex Leach said.

Because he knows he now gets a second chance at life.

“Just thinking about all the things he will get to do that he hasn’t been able to do,” Candi told us.

One of the biggest changes for Alex comes in this little cup.

He’s never been able to drink water.

“Yummy. Good!” Alex said.

Only 25 milligrams at a time, but it’s a routine he looks forward to every single hour.

A little bit of hydration for his active routine, which just days after surgery, included a hospital luau party, and of course lots of walking.

With each step taking him farther in his recovery journey.

Alex has a long recovery ahead of him.

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