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Teen Double Transplant Recipient Heads Home

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- A Chicago teenager is finally going home Wednesday after getting the transplant he needed to survive.

When Thomas Castillo was just 15-years-old, doctors told him that he had a 50 percent chance of living.  The Chicago native was suffering from congenital heart and liver failure, and while waiting for transplants had a stroke.  Transplant hopes were dwindling until a donor became available to provide Thomas with both a heart and a liver.

“[The doctor] smiled and he said ‘how would you like to go to surgery today?’  Are you kidding, wait are you serious, and I was so ecstatic I hugged him,” Linda Rebeles, Thomas’ Grandmother, told ABC News' Milwaukee affiliate WISN.

In February, Dr. James Tweddel led the heart transplant team at Milwaukee’s Children’s Hospital.

“The transplant was a coordinated effort.  A donor became available, whom we could obtain an excellent heart and liver and the operation took place over 17 hours,” said Dr. Tweddel.

Thomas’ surgery was the first-ever double transplant done on a child under 17 in Wisconsin.  Leaving the hospital sporting his new Packer’s jersey, Thomas said he’d like to return the favor by becoming a heart transplant surgeon himself one day.

As for his family, they say none of this would be possible without organ donations.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio