St. Louis (KSDK) -- He's a high school student from Indiana beating the odds. But an infection following his lung transplant had him stuck in a hospital room in St. Louis on one of the biggest nights of his life.
Friday night, before a huge crowd of his peers at a conference basketball game, 17-year-old Noah James was awarded the Indiana Spirit of Sport Award. Each state picks one, and then the winners go off to a national contest.
Noah was selected ed after getting so sick in 2011, he needed a lung transplant. It was done at St. Louis Children's Hospital last June. He'd been doing so well, he went back to swimming - his sport - within four months. But last week he came down with a certain dangerous cold for those with lung transplants.
He was back at the hospital Tuesday, meaning he'd have to miss what's been called Noah's Night, the event he watched from his hospital room via Skype on his laptop where he was honored, and signing up for organ donation was widely promoted across the student body.
"I found out my brother is going to be accepting the award on my behalf and he's a little bit of a jokester," Noah explained. "He said, is it going to be a plaque or a piece of paper, and my mom said it's probably going to be a plaque, and he said, alight, I'll bring a bag. When I get home I'm going to hit him."
"It's a bog deal," said Noah's mother, Amy. "The state's proud of him. The school's proud of him, and he should feel the love and the support."
If Noah wins the national contest, he will have to pick up the award in Denver in June.