Father’s Day has new meaning for a DeKalb family whose son is recovering after two lifesaving organ transplants—the second and most recent of which came from a very special person.
Enrique de la Cruz was born with a congenital heart defect and needed a transplant as a teenager.
Although an anonymous donor gifted him a new heart, his kidneys on the other hand, had been damaged and was in urgent need of yet another miracle.
Nearly two years later, the miracle came from someone much closer to Cruz—his father.
"I feel like a new man," Enrique de la Cruz expressed.
Eradio de la Cruz said it was wonderful to be able to give his son “a new life.”
"I feel so wonderful and happy for him, all of my family especially my wife because we’ve been fighting for him all his life," he went on to say. "I’m glad he’s still with us."
This DeKalb family endured four open heart surgeries, two transplants and numerous trips to and from Chicago for appointments and lab draws, which also meant the bills were adding up.
Children’s Organ Transplant Association [COTA], a nonprofit group dedicated to fundraising on behalf of families going through a medical crisis so that they can focus on recovery instead of stressing about finances, stepped in to help.
Enrique de la Cruz is currently in remission, but the family says they are grateful to be cherishing the gift of life yet again.
The family says this Father's Day will be extra special as they plan to celebrate with a meal and a hug away from the hospital.