Two Members of "The McKameys" Back on Stage After Kidney Transplant

Knoxville (WVLT) - It's been three weeks since 13 year old Eli Fortner received a kidney from his father, Roger.

It's a surgery that has changed their lives and now they are finally back on stage with the southern gospel group "The McKameys".

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt sat down with the Fortner's to talk about their recovery.

Roger and Eli Fortner can finally get back to their music.

Besides sharing their love of gospel, they now share something else.

Rogers says, "Eli got my left kidney and they put it in and it began to work instantly, it started working and it's working pretty well."

In fact, doctors say the surgery was almost text book perfect. A huge relief for Roger.

"My wife tells me the first thing i said probably when i came to is how's Eli? And she kept telling me he's fine, he's doing great."

The first thing Eli asked for? His big glass of sweet tea.

"How was it?" "Great!"

It's been a long road to get here.

Since he was a baby, Eli has had kidney problems.

This surgery is life changing.

Roger says, "It's almost like we've had this thing happen in our life and we're on the back side of it and our lives are trying to get back to normal."

Normal is now how Eli feels.

"I'm feeling better than I was before."

He says it's a little weird having his father's kidney, but Roger doesn't dwell on it.

"Occasionally i'll think of that and i'll think, yea it's in there, but he's doing great."

So great, they're ready to grab their guitars and get back on stage with The McKamey's.

Eli says, "It's fun! You get the energy from being on stage and from all them people it's just a lot of fun playing."

And Eli's not being shy about taking sympathy.

"Eli is there anything else you want to say? No, but i'm still taking sweet teas!"

The Fortner's say they're extremely thankful for all of the cards and e-mails they've received showing support.

To find out where the McKamey's will be next, log on to our webchannel, click on the link below.


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