A year -long wait is over for a Lexington boy who needed his second heart transplant. 11-year-old Jhett Skaggs returned home Tuesday for the first time in six years.
The Skaggs drove more than six hours from a hospital in Houston. This journey has lasted much longer than that, though, and a new chapter is about to begin.
In a normally quiet town, excitement is abuzz, and it is all for one special family. Police and fire escorts led the Skaggs through Oklahoma to their front doorstep in Lexington, where the real welcome party awaited with open arms, all for Jhett.
It was a welcome surprise, and a welcome change from nonstop doctor's visits. News 9 first reported Jhett’s story two years ago, as he waited for not his first, but his second heart transplant.
“I just missed not a lot of people being around and having everyone you know very close,” Jhett said.
Jhett spent six years in Houston with his dad Brian, leaving his mom and sister back home, but the pair found a new kind of family in the game of golf.
“They just really accepted us with open arms and it really made the time pass a lot quicker,” Brian said.
Then, on an early July morning, they got the phone call.
“Three-o-clockish in the morning, you’re not really thinking clearly,” said Brian. “And I didn’t hear my phone the first ring, so they did call me twice, which was good.”
“I was shocked, because I knew it was going to come but I didn’t know when,” Jhett added.
Jhett spent more than ten hours in surgery. The results have been perfect thus far.
“After probably the second day he was up sitting in a chair, so it’s truly remarkable,” Brian said.
Jhett says he does not feel any different. He will return to Houston every six weeks to make sure his new heart is beating to his own drum.
The outlook is positive, but for him, there is one part of this journey that stands out as the best:
“Going home,” Jhett said.
One of the first steps for Jhett now that he is home is finding a new home golf course to prepare for next summer's tournament season.