Dad gives 6-year-old son a kidney

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) -There's something contagious at St. Louis Children's hospital: The boundless energy of 6-year-old Cannan Pytlinski. He could spend hours playing in the 8th floor garden.

"He's hard to keep under control which is good, "laughs his dad Todd Pytlinski.

Good, because a year ago, he had virtually no energy at all.

Cannan spent much of 2013 in a hospital bed after becoming infected with E-Coli. Here's how he explains it:

"It's kind of like a virus. You like throw up and stuff, "he said.

E-Coli outbreaks are not that unusual but what happened to Cannan was.

"The majority of the kids do well, " says Dr. Paul Hmiel of St. Louis Children's Hospital. "But a couple of them every year will get to the point where they either need dialysis or a transplant."

Cannan was placed on the kidney transplant list but a short time later, doctors discovered a suitable donor living in his house.

"So where did you get this new kidney?," we asked. Cannan said, "Dad!".

"I was super excited to be the one to give him the kidney and hopefully give him a normal childhood again," Todd Pytlinski said. "But I was also worried what if his body rejects my kidney."

Neither Dad, nor the doctors and nurses at Children's, let Cannan down.

"The prognosis is very good," Dr. Hmeil said. "We would expect this kidney to last 10, 15, 20 years."

"He recovered amazingly quick," his dad said. " The next day he was sitting up playing games with mom, the nurses, everybody coming in."

That's why this father's day is extra special for the Pytlinski family.

"What are you going to get your dad for father's day?, "we asked Cannan. "I can't tell you. It's a secret!"

But it's no secret that Todd Pytlinski already got something you can't find in a store.

"He's ready to go, "he said. "Cannan is ready for life again. He has an amazing zest for life."

It turns out giving a kidney is the best Father's Day present he's ever received.


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