Boy, 4, Traveled Cross Country in Donated RV to Undergo Heart Surgery: 'It's an Amazing Gift'
Hitting the road to travel across the country in an RV from his home in Spokane, Washington, wasn’t just a trip of a lifetime for Noah Alderson. It was a trip to save his life.
The 4-year-old was born with several life-threatening heart defects and was recently in need of a third open-heart operation, his mother, Tanasha Alderson, explained to GMA. But the family soon found out that the the hospital near their home was unable to offer the needed surgery, a biventricular repair.
After scrambling to find alternatives, the family located a specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital willing to perform the operation.
Despite the positive news, the family was quickly met with another obstacle.
Boston Children’s Hospital is located nearly 3,000 miles from their home, and because Noah requires a nebulizer, ventilator and feeding tubes, they weren’t simply able to take a flight from Spokane to the East Coast. A standard car wouldn’t be able to accommodate Noah’s needs, either.
“I was at the point where I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get him there,” Alderson told GMA at the time.
After the local news covered their predicament, word spread across social media in August, and soon Outdoorsy, an RV rental company, stepped in to offer a vehicle to the family free of charge.
“It’s an amazing gift,” Alderson told the Spokesman before the family hit the road in August.
The Texas-based company partnered with other organizations to make sure the family wouldn’t have to worry about paying for gas, insurance and lodging during their journey, which would see them cover a whopping 6,000 miles round-trip.
“Our heartstrings were pulled by the little boy in the story and our community of users around the world started rallying around him,” Outdoorsy CEO Jeff Cavins told the newspaper.
Thanks to the donated RV, Noah and his family were able to sightsee and visit places he had never been to before.
In pictures posted to the family’s Facebook page, Noah the Brave, he is seen standing in front of the Statue of Liberty, playing at the beach, and visiting Niagara Falls. In every photo, Noah is beaming with happiness.
“This everything to us,” Alderson told Inside Edition. “Seeing historic places, like the Statue of Liberty, those were things I have put on Noah’s adventure list — things that I wasn’t sure if we would ever be able to get to do with him.”
After a 13 day drive, Noah underwent the heart operation in September at Boston Children’s Hospital. He remains there today after he experienced complications post-surgery.
The family has a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for medical expenses. If you’d like to donate, click here.