BOSTON - Grateful goodbyes echoed the hallways inside Boston Children's Hospital, health care heroes sending the Squillante family home to Weymouth.
"He's healthy and he can start his life almost," said dad Stephen.
That's something to smile about.you back in March. Little Steve, his skin so yellow, really needed a healthy liver to fight biliary atresia.
But these days, there is no shortage of sweet Steve smiles, all thanks to what mom Shannon gave.
After donor testing caught an early blood cancer in dad, Shannon learned she was fortunately a perfect match for their son. This month the Squillantes celebrated a successful liver transplant. Steve woke up a healthy color and ready to play.
"I could just tell his body must have just felt so much better even though he'd just had a major surgery," dad Stephen recalled.
"At home he's just laughing so much more. It makes you think how bad he felt before. Now he's so happy and just full of energy," mom Shannon added.
Our first interview was socially distant in the driveway, and we caught up by Zoom as transplant recovery continues. But after nearly two years in quarantine, this couple is ready for joy - seeing the light of their life, start to really live his.
"We're still a few weeks, months away from that. But him being able to go to a playground to just play and interact is going to make me so happy. I'm going to be so teary it's going to be unbelievable," Stephen said.
As for Stephen's health journey, the family was relieved to have a positive visit at Dana Farber this summer and will return in six months. In the many months they waited for a match for baby Steve, the Squillantes stayed busy by supporting other families in the hospital through Tiny Transplant Titans.
To donate to the organization's care package efforts, or to register to become an organ donor visit www.tinytransplanttitans.com.