Students, teachers line halls at elementary school to welcome back classmate after kidney transplant

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MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (WCBD) – Students and teachers lined the halls of Foxbank Elementary School on Monday with a celebratory welcome back to class for one of their classmates.

Third-grader Zakery Holobwicz is now back in class and the entire school joined to say hello.

“The welcome home ceremony is just phenomenal,” said his mom, Nichole. “We found out, August 9th, Zachary needed a kidney transplant.”

His parents initially had him checked out due to slow growth.

“They said no, his kidney function was at 17% – he was at stage five renal failure.”

He needed a kidney transplant, and very soon. They began working with the Medical University of South Carolina.

“We told them I’m a match and they were like ‘we’ll let science tell us that’ and I said no, God told me I’m a match, so I’m a match… and come to find out I actually was the match.”

So, this makes it two times mom gave Zakery life.

“I think this was actually a little more painful. It’s lasted longer. I don’t think it was a choice, it’s what any parent would do,” she said.

Zakery and his mom had the surgery on January 2nd, 20 days before his 9th birthday.

“Our oldest son was amazing. Absolutely amazing through this whole thing.”

But what would have happened if she was not a match for her son? “Zakery wouldn’t be here right now. Because when he went in for surgery, he was less than 10% kidney function. He wouldn’t have made it to his birthday.”

The great news is Zak has been doing very well since his surgery.

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