Viral video shows 49ers quarterback give towel to 8-year-old boy in need of kidney transplant

Jamison Boutwell's family has been searching for kidney donor for 3 years

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Sunday, October 23, 2022
Viral video: 49ers QB gives towel to boy in need of kidney transplant
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A viral video shows San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo give a towel to Jamison Boutwell, an 8-year-old boy who needs kidney transplant.

MAINE -- An 8-year-old boy in Maine is waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant.

In the meantime, his family is making sure he gets as much out of life as possible.

Jamison Boutwell was excited to learn he'd be flying to Atlanta with his dad, Matt, to watch their beloved 49ers play the Falcons.

"Very excited, very, very, very, very excited," Jamison said.

Last weekend's trip was a present for Jamison's eighth birthday.

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San Francisco Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo made the day even more special when he spotted Jamison in the crowd and gave him a towel.

"Very short story. And the reason why, it was my birthday, problem solved," Jamison said.

For Matt, it was a bonding experience with his son and a chance to provide a sense of normalcy.

"It really means a lot to me, honestly. Matt's a great dad," said Bethany Short, Jamison's mom.

It's something Jamison's mom and stepmom back home were grateful for.

"He's had a lot going on recently, so just seeing him being able to enjoy himself and having fun and not having to worry about stuff, like that's what matters the most," said Jamison's stepmom, April Short.

Amid the joyful moments were signs of Jamison's everyday reality.

"He had to take a big break on our trip this weekend. He went to sleep for about 14 hours. He slept from 4 o'clock on Saturday until about 6 o'clock on Sunday morning, just getting re-acclimated," Matt said.

The family said they first noticed something was off when they started potty-training. Trip after trip to the doctor yielded no answers, and they said their questions were dismissed.

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"Finally, it got to the point we switched his pediatrician and the very first appointment they did a urine and they came back and they're like, it's probably something you've never heard of, but we think he has diabetes insipidus," April said.

That was just the tip of the iceberg. The true cause was a blockage in Jamison's urinary tract that the family says should have been caught before he was even born.

"He was born with something that wasn't caught, and then it wasn't caught for years. It damaged his bladder and his kidneys, and now were chronically managing both of those on a daily basis," Matt said.

About three years ago, they learned Jamison would need a kidney transplant, but they're still searching for a donor.

In the meantime, they started a Facebook page, kidney4jamison, to amplify their plea for help.

"I'd say #ShareYourSpare. You know, it's something we would be forever grateful to have someone donate to Jamison," Bethany said.

Jamison, whose condition is responsible for his undersized stature, said he looks forward to the day he can experience life with more energy, making future trips with dad a little easier.

"And I'm gonna be older and taller! I'm gonna be tall!" Jamison said.

"And feeling healthy?" Matt asked.

"Yeah," Jamison responded.

"Would you be grateful?" Matt said.

"Yes," Jamison said.