BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - A Bossier Parish kindergartner continues his recovery in a Dallas hospital after a kidney transplant and after doctors discover his second kidney is cancerous.
6-year-old Austin Woodall received a kidney transplant in March. But no one realized his surgeries would not end there. Austin now must have his second kidney removed.
"When he first started at school, everyone knew him as the tiny little guy. He was noticeably smaller than his peers," said his Kindergarten teacher Jackie Ballentine.
Austin weighs only 25 pounds, a direct result of his medical condition. After waiting months for a transplant, Austin underwent surgery in March at Children's Hospital in Dallas. Sadly, doctors soon discovered he had cancer in his other kidney.
"He's just a precious little kid. I just want him to get better," said his grandmother, Marabeth Woodall.
Marabeth has been taking care of Austin's twin brother Justin and a granddaughter while her daughter remains in Dallas with Austin.
"That's a lot for a little kid to endure," added Marabeth.
Doctors now must wait for Austin to get stronger before they can attempt to remove the cancerous kidney. His grandmother says his first surgery came with a number of close calls.
"He went into cardiac arrest 5 times."
Ballentine has been keeping close watch over her class as students often ask about their little friend.
"It was heartbreaking to see, before the transplant, he was getting sicker and sicker. He was having dialysis before school and coming to school weak and ill."
Ballentine adds, "They've been praying for him. I asked them to keep him in their prayers."
An account has been set up under Austin Woodall's name at Bossier Federal Credit Union. A fundraiser will also be held Tuesday night beginning at 4pm at the Bossier City Sonic, 4922 Barksdale Blvd. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Woodall family.