13-year-old Elkmont boy gets liver transplant

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ELMONT, Ala. – It has been a long road for an Elkmont 7th grader and his family. Ethan Layfield has been on a transplant waiting list in desperate need of a new liver.

The wait was filled with worry for his future and strain over the financial burden of simply getting him the care he needs. While that worry still exists, there’s now new hope.

“He’s just such a good kid if I could take it away I would in a minute. I would give anything for him not to have to go through this,” said his father Shane Layfield.

When Ethan started having health problems, his parents took him to the doctor. They were eventually told that Ethan has cirrhosis of the liver.

“He just started shaking real bad and he was yellow looking. Apparently he has had this for a long time now,” said Layfield as he was describing his son’s condition.

Late Thursday night the Layfields got the call they’d been waiting for — a match had been found and Ethan was getting a new liver.

Friday morning Ethan was being prepped for the transplant surgery at Children of Alabama in Birmingham.

“Now that we’re here and it’s time, I’m worried to death. I’m scared to death. It’s a pretty high success rate but still, we’re so nervous for him,” said Layfield.

Times have been tough for the Layfields. Both of Ethan’s parents have stopped working to provide Ethan the full-time care and support that he needs.

They have no reliable transportation for the trips from Elkmont to Birmingham to go to the hospital.

“Hopefully the process of him getting better is going to be around a month and a half or so and both me and my wife want to be with him that whole time, and that’s really scary being out of work that long,” he said.

Layfield said that Ethan usually loves fishing, but he’s so weak and tired that he can barely make it 30 minutes outside before heading back in.

“He stays super tired and he gets super confused and stuff like that because his liver isn’t letting the toxins out like it’s supposed to,” Layfield said. “That’s the hard part. Just watching him not be able to be a kid like he should be.”

After the surgery, the Layfields will need to stay at Children’s of Alabama in Birmingham for at least a month as Ethan heals.

If you want to help the Layfields, donate to the GoFundMe or reach out to us at news.department@whnt.com

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