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Teenage kidney transplant patient: 'I got a gift of a lifetime'

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Lexington teenager needed a kidney transplant to save his life. For more than six months, we've been telling you about 17-year-old Braxton Upthegrove and how the community has been helping him.

Last month he finally received a new kidney. Braxton has wasted no time getting back to doing what he loves.

It was the perfect night for a game of pick-up at Braxton Upthegrove's home with his siblings and friends. Just getting home from a Cincinnati hospital on Wednesday, Braxton says he's feeling better than ever.

"It feels like I'm Lebron on the court," said Braxton Upthegrove.

On May 13, Braxton's mom, Michelle Upthegrove, got the call she'd been waiting to get for three years. A kidney was a match for Braxton in Cincinnati. The very next day Braxton went into surgery, getting the transplant. He's now back at home and full of energy.

"I just feel like playing and going outside and hanging out with friends a lot," said Braxton.

He now has a better understanding of the game of life than most teenagers.

"Some of them people don't get second chances," said Braxton. "I was just very grateful and praying all the time."

Almost losing his chance to play again, he's not wasting any time bouncing back.

"It turned in to be the biggest blessing and miracle, and you see my child out here. That's amazing. That is amazing," said Michelle Upthegrove. "I got a new child. I brought home a brand new boy."

"I got a gift of a lifetime," said Braxton.

This is actually Braxton's second kidney transplant. His transplant first was when he was only six years old. Braxton will be starting his junior year at Henry Clay High School in August and will also get back to being the manager of the boys basketball team.


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