YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A Liberty High School student who was battling kidney failure is now on the road to recovery after a transplant.

WKBN first covered Zak Stevens’ story in 2019 as the school’s basketball team rallied around him.

Stevens received a call on Wednesday, Feb. 24 that a new kidney was ready for him.

The next morning, Stevens and his mother traveled to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where the transplant team worked for six hours to complete the surgery.

While the transplant had some challenges, Stevens and his new kidney are moving toward recovery, according to the Liberty Local School District.

“This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Stevens said from his hospital room.

Stevens started developing kidney issues when he was eight years old — 10 years ago. In 2019, his condition worsened and he had to undergo surgery and dialysis.

In the last two and a half years, Stevens has undergone nine surgeries, including the transplant, according to a release from the district.

The doctors have assured Stevens’s mother, Mara Stevens, that the kidney will drastically improve Steven’s quality of life and he should have no more illnesses related to his kidney, according to the district.

“I would like to thank everyone at the school for their compassion, support and care of Zak throughout the years,” said Mara Stevens.

Zak Stevens will continue to recover at the hospital for the next couple of weeks.

Those who would like to send him a message can do so through the hospital’s website.