THOMASVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — A 16-year-old boy received a lifesaving kidney transplant in May, and his family says his condition is improving each day.

“It’s been a great journey,” said Latesha Mays, Jamar Frierson’s mother.

Jamar’s journey includes everything you’d expect of a normal 16-year-old boy: going to school, spending time with family and gaining some much-needed weight and muscle. 

But he’s not a normal teen. He’s recovering from his second kidney transplant.

“We actually went to the beach for the first time in … maybe four or five years. Because for years … we couldn’t. His dialysis and stuff wouldn’t let us,” Latesha said. “So we went for a quick weekend, and that was great … We had just a little quick family getaway, and that was good.”

Jamar got his first kidney transplant at two years old. That kidney started to fail when he was 12.

Before his recent kidney transplant in May, he went to dialysis three times a week for four hours, which forced him to miss most of school last year.

For the first time in nearly three years, he’s been able to attend class consistently.

“We’ve moved since that time he started in school. He hasn’t missed any days since then. He is continuing to improve … We’ve had no setbacks at all. The doctor said … the kidney transplant that he received was almost perfect for him,” Latesha said.

On immunosuppressants for his new kidney, Jamar is more vulnerable to illnesses, but his mother remains positive as his health continues to improve.

“I’m just hoping for a good school year without … so many hospitalizations,” Latesha said.

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Jamar is excited about his tenth-grade year at Thomasville High School. He said he isn’t deterred by the challenges he’s faced due to his health and is thankful for his mother’s support through it all.

“I don’t think … most people can go through that and just be perfectly fine. I’m perfectly fine because of her,” Jamar said.

This school year, Jamar says he looks forward to trying out for basketball and track as he continues to gain his strength and connect with classmates.