Aspiring 8-year-old firefighter receives surprise visit at hospital

- An 8-year-old Louisiana boy who wants to grow up to become a fireman received a surprise visit at the hospital by D.C. firefighters.

Hunter Scarborough is currently away from home as he is being treated at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C. He is a brave kid who has had hundreds of surgeries. He had 30 procedures performed on him during a single hospital stay in 2015, which included removing his colon.

After years of dealing with health problems, it wasn’t until then that he got an accurate diagnosis of the rare disorder he was suffering from – chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction.

But this November, his family got a life-changing phone call from MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

“He had a small and large intestinal transplant,” said Yuze.

Hunter received the transplant seven weeks ago, but that has meant spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in the hospital. In fact, Hunter's mother said he has spent more overall time in hospitals than he did at home this year. The transplant he received is so rare that only about 50 procedures happen in the United States each year.

But Hunter has powered through it all.

“Part of it is that he’s very strong and part of it is that he’s very smart,” said Jessica Yuze, a child life specialist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “He asks a lot of good questions and he likes to understand everything that is happening.”

But for a few minutes, the 8-year-old got to stop thinking about the feeding tubes, his wheelchair and the endless procedures. Instead, he got focus on his future aspiration of becoming a firefighter.

“Because all my dreams, I want to be one,” Hunter said.

The fire chief for the fire department of Livonia, Louisiana reached out to the D.C. Fire and EMS Department about Hunter, who is a honoree member of the Livonia Fire Department. On Friday, the D.C. firefighters stopped by to pay the young boy a visit. They all gave him a huge round of applause, high-fives and handshakes as he came outside to see his new friends.

Hunter will have to stay in the D.C. hospital for several more months while he recovers. But the battalion chief for D.C. Fire and EMS has invited Hunter to visit their firehouse when he leaves the hospital.

Despite all that he has had to overcome in his life, Hunter said he wants to save others when he grows up.

If you would like to help Hunter and his family with his medical expenses, click here.

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