10-year-old North Texas boy receives life-changing double lung transplant

A North Texas boy is recovering after receiving a double lung transplant last month. 

With two new lungs, Ryder Molepske-Eoff is full of life and energy. It’s a huge difference from when he was confined to bed rest to help preserve his dying lungs. 

"I'm 10 years old, and some of my favorite things to do are play video games, watch anime, watch cartoons and cook," he said.

For most of Ryder's life, doing the things a typical kid does has required extraordinary effort. 

At 16 months old, Ryder caught three simultaneous infections that caused his lungs to go into acute respiratory failure. In the years since, his lungs got worse. 

"His left lung was doing 65% of the work while his right lung shrunk," explained Jeff Molepske, Ryder’s dad.

 Molepske says even with oxygen tanks, walking short distances became too much. 


UT Arlington student makes lifesaving stem cell donation to Kentucky man with leukemia

Back in 2018, Andrew Kozman made a simple decision that ended up having a lifelong impact. He did a quick mouth swab and registered to be a potential bone marrow or stem cell donor. Turns out he was a match out of millions for a leukemia patient in Kentucky. Four years later, they finally got to meet in person.

"When you are 9 years old and going to the store, most kids like to run or walk in. He was riding in the cart because he could not physically walk that far," Molepske said. "They called it end of life lung disease."

Ryder's doctor at Children's Health recommended getting him on the waitlist for a double lung transplant. He was on the list for 169 days before he got the help he desperately needed.

"I do know the family coordinated their child to donate a lot of organs. So they are absolutely amazing," Molepske said.

Just two weeks after receiving the lung transplant at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Ryder's new life with new lungs began.

Ryder is expected to be cleared to go back home to Anna on September 17.


Children's Health recognizes 'superhero' patients on Cape Day

FOX 4 first introduced you to Olivia Solis in 2018. Shortly after she was born, doctors determined she would need a heart transplant. Today, she is a picture of strength. "I had a heart transplant. My heart is strong now!"

The non-profit Children's Organ Transplant Association has raised $30,000 of the $50,000 needed for his medical expenses. 

Ryder is now looking forward to all ‘the firsts" with healthy lungs ahead.

"Like keeping up with people. Like not like being all the way in the back of the line," Ryder said.

And for his mom, Courtney Eoff, the best has already happened.

"The first thing I said was when he got the lung transplant is, ‘I couldn't wait for him to laugh without struggling!’ And that was that has been the coolest experience so far," she said.

Ryder is also looking forward to learning how to play basketball after he recovers. 

Home - COTA for Ryder's Lungs