‘It’s a blessing’: San Antonio teen shares how organ donation impacted his life

KSAT Community to host town hall about organ donation on Wednesday

‘It’s a blessing’: San Antonio teen shares how organ donation impacted his life (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Zach Baza is a pretty laid back 16-year-old, who likes hanging out with his friends, reading, and swimming.

They’re simple pleasures his mom, Carmelita Baza, can’t believe he’s been able to enjoy.

Recommended Videos

“I’m so proud of him,” she said. “I mean, I’m proud of where we are.”

Soon after Zach Baza was born, his mom said doctors realized his liver was failing.

At six months old, he needed a triple organ transplant -- a new liver, small bowel, and pancreas.

“We kind of called it the full meal deal,” said Carmelita Baza.

Doctors weren’t sure if Zach would survive long enough to get them, and prepared Carmelita for the worst.

“I didn’t even know what to do,” she said. “I was like, how do you, how do you make funeral arrangements for a baby? I mean, I just it -- just I couldn’t wrap my head around it.”

In April of 2008, the family of a four-year-old who lost their life realized their child could live on in another.

“It would take me a while to find the words other than thank you,” said Carmelita, who hasn’t gotten the chance to meet her son’s donor family. “And that’s just so, just so incomplete, so inadequate, you know?”

A scar on Zach’s stomach serves as a reminder of what he’s overcome.

“I used to say that, I think I got cut with, like, a samurai sword by accident,” he said.

He doesn’t remember what the start of his life was like, but Zach knows how he plans to live the rest of it.

“It’s a blessing basically,” said Zach. “And it’s it sounds unreal, but yeah, like It’s just. But I’m grateful to have what I have.”

KSAT Community is hosting a town hall about organ donation on March 27 at 2 pm.

About the Authors

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

Recommended Videos