Skip to Content

Teen in Local Community Receives Vital Kidney Transplant

MOBILE, Ala. – A local adolescent is recuperating at UAB Hospital following a life-saving kidney transplant. Devin Smith’s health journey has been closely monitored for almost two years, and now, with a broad smile, he is concentrating on recuperation and preparing for his upcoming senior year!

Expressing his feelings, Devin stated, “I feel good. I feel better. I just feel… I just feel like I have more energy.”

Devin has battled kidney failure throughout his life. The junior from Murphy High School has been on the donor list since last July. He and his mother have made the journey to UAB three times in anticipation of a potential kidney transplant, only to have their hopes dashed at the last moment.

“They told us no three times – and the 4th one was a yes. It was very emotional. Very emotional. It was a very emotional roller coaster. Because you get excited – they tell you to come here and we’re five hours away – we would think we would get the surgery. But no – it doesn’t work like that,” explained Erica Watson, Devin’s mother.

With only 16% kidney function, Devin narrowly avoided dialysis, and his mother, Erica, believes that the call they received last week came just in the nick of time.

“That night – we received a phone call around 7 o’clock p.m. And they felt like it was a for sure yes – I guess because they saw how I was crying – and they seen how I would come here… And the answer would be no. But they told us to come on and we came. We had to be here by 12 o’clock – midnight – on that night. Lee: Everything is packed – when you get the call – it’s like get in the car and go. Erica: Yes, just get in the car and go – you have to hurry – you have to get here in a certain amount of hours.”

While Erica was anxious, Devin was prepared for the surgery and eagerly anticipates returning to the basketball court.

“I was happy – I knew it was going to be a success. I don’t know how to explain it. It was just like a great day. Lee: What are you looking forward to doing? – Devin: Probably like hooping – playing basketball. Lee: #1 goal? – Devin: Yes sir.”

With biweekly post-surgery checkups scheduled, they intend to remain in Birmingham for the next three months. Erica is simply relieved that they have encountered no setbacks.

“I’m excited because Devin has a bright future ahead of him – he’s doing so well. Even the UAB doctors and nurses – say they’ve never seen anyone heal like Devin is healing,” said Erica. “I really truly believe – that this was a perfect match for Devin. And I advise anybody – if you are on a mission and you are unsuccessful for the first few times – don’t get upset. Because when you get that final ‘yes’ – it’s going to be well worth all of the tears you have cried and all of the setbacks you have faced.”

If you would like to support the family on Devin’s journey to recovery.

Copyright 2024 WALA. All rights reserved.