wsls logo

Virginia family able to thank the blood marrow donors who saved their 8-year-old son’s life

The family is encouraging others to sign up and become donors

A touching reunion one year in the making between an 8-year-old boy and the stranger who saved his life.

CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Va. – Watching 8-year-old Zeke Puig run around with his siblings in their Charlotte County backyard, one would never guess he spent more than 220 days in the hospital last year.

“It’s hard to be prepared for that to actually be the case,” said John Puig, Zeke’s dad.

“I didn’t go there,” explained Danielle Puig, Zeke’s mom. “I thought they would say it’s a cold, not confirm my fears.”

In October 2019, Zeke became very sick. His blood marrow was failing and he needed transfusions every week to stay alive. Doctors from all over the country spent the next four months working to find a diagnosis.

“A lot of times, things changed up because he was so rare,” recalled Danielle. “We heard that word over and over again.”

Zeke needed a transplant, but there were only two donors in the U.S. that were a match for him.

His first transplant failed, but the second one took in July 2020.

“We just saw God sustain, again and again, God lead, God be faithful and God give joy,” said Danielle.

The Puigs spent every day thinking of the strangers who saved their son’s life and how they would thank them.

A year later, they finally had the chance.

“We just wanted to hug them and say thank you,” said John. “Thought the words ‘thank you’ don’t really do enough to express the gratitude that you feel in your heart as a parent when all of this has taken place.”

On Monday, Zeke celebrated his eighth birthday at home.

Thanks to answered prayers and two strangers the Puigs call superheroes, he’s doing great.

The family is encouraging others to sign up to be a donor. In fact, they’re hoping to get 365 to sign up this year alone. It’s a two-minute process that can save someone like Zeke’s life.

Click here to learn how you can become a donor.

About the Author:

Kortney joined the 10 News team as a Lynchburg Bureau Reporter in May 2021.