ENGLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Sunday will be an extra special Mother’s Day for one New Jersey family.
A little boy’s life was saved thanks to a selfless gift from his mom.
Paul Kudowitz is doing what every 7-year-old should be doing — bouncing up and down, exploring with curiosity and letting loose with the people who love him.
His hugs and all his little boy energy are not something parents Laura and Brian take for granted.
“The truth is that while I was pregnant, you know, there was really no guarantee he would survive,” Laura Kudowitz told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
Paul did survive, but he was born with a rare kidney condition that affects 1 in 5,000 people. It would only be a matter of time before he needed a transplant.
“Our biggest prayer was that one of us would be a match,” Laura Kudowitz said.
The Englewood family’s prayer was answered at the height of the pandemic last spring when they found out Mom was a match. The successful surgery was in October.
“It’s honestly a modern miracle. It’s amazing,” Laura Kudowitz said.
They’re forever grateful to Dr. Kenneth Lieberman, of Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health, who met Paul when he was just a few hours old.
“The need for the meds is ongoing,” he said. “We need our patients to, as best as possible, to avoid infectious exposures.”
Doctors are anticipating children Paul’s age will be able to get the COVID vaccine in time for the new school year. When that day comes, it will be a huge relief to this family.
“So hopeful, it will be life-changing for him,” Laura Kudowitz said.
Life already has changed for the better. With four healthy kids and their new dog, Red, that Paul got from the Make A Wish Foundation, it will be the most memorable Mother’s Day yet.
“Tell me why she’s the best mom in the world,” Layton asked Paul.
“She gives me kidneys,” he said.
“She gives you kidneys? Just one,” Brian Kudowitz said.
“He keeps saying that he can’t wait for Mother’s Day. He can’t wait for me to see his card,” Laura Kudowitz said. “I already got the greatest gift I could have gotten, which is for him to be healthy.”
“Happy Mother’s Day. I love you, Mommy,” Paul said.
“I love you, too,” Laura Kudowitz said.
CBS2’s Jessica Layton contributed to this report.