Deven Shelton Wins Bronze At Transplant Games

6:39 PM, Aug 21, 2012   |    comments
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St. Louis (KSDK) - Deven Shelton and his dad are a tenacious team who recently competed in the Transplant Games of America.

"See mommy down there, go get her," Steve Shelton, Deven's dad said.

However, that's not what makes Deven a champion.

"It's called Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency," Shelton explained.

It's a rare genetic disorder resulting in too much ammonia in the blood and it caused Deven to slip into a coma when he was only days old.

"They actually told us that Deven had 12 to 24 hours and he was removed from life support," Shelton said pausing to fight tears.

But Deven survived.

"His neurologist told us he would never do more than a three day old baby," Amanda Shelton, Deven's mom added.

Of course, that means these little feet were never supposed to take a step and again thanks to a liver transplant, Deven defied the odds and inspired his dad to get a very important tattoo of a stranger's hand reaching out to his own.

"I put it on my right arm so when I shake hands, take money back, whatever I can share the story about organ donation and Deven's little story," Shelton explained.

It's a story that doesn't end here because at those transplant games Devon brought home bronze with a little help from a boy with a big heart and the same genetic disorder.

"As he was approaching the finish line he stopped, turned around, looked back at Devon and cheered him on and let Deven finish first," Shelton said.

They say champions are made when nobody is watching, but hopefully we're all taking notice of the fight of 6-year-old, the sportsmanship of 10-year-old and the gift of life from a complete stranger.

"Which in my case there's a mom who gave me a second chance to be a mom, he's amazing," Shelton said with a smile.

There are a couple different ways to become an organ donor you can do it online, you can do it at certain events where you see an organ donation booth or you can go to the department of motor vehicles.

And in case you were wondering, one organ donor can save up to eight lives.

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