Boy, 8, with cystic fibrosis, asks Santa for new lungs for Christmas

Boy: 'I want to be like my brothers'

INDIANAPOLIS - Seven days before Christmas, most little boys' thoughts turn toward bicycles, video games and other loot they can get from Santa, but all 8-year-old Brandon Vinson wants for Christmas is new lungs.

Brandon is a candidate for a lung transplant. He only weighs 44 pounds, but he is ready to take on the heavy challenge of transplant surgery.

Brandon said when he grows up he wants to be a firefighter just like his dad so he can help other people. But right now, he is the one who needs help.

"I want it to happen yesterday," said Brandon's dad Greg Vinson. "I think it will help him. I think it will be great for him. If they told me right now my lungs would work, it would be done."

Brandon was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when he was three months old. 

According to his parents he has spent half his life in hospitals, and he just completed a stint at Riley Hospital for Children doing battle with an infection. 

Brandon's lungs are so ineffective that he has to take eight different medications every day, and he has to wear a vest for 30 minutes, three times a day to clean mucus from his lungs. 

Santa visited Brandon in the hospital, and Brandon told Santa lungs would be a great gift for Christmas.

"I want to get new lungs so I can be like my brothers," Brandon said. "Play baseball, basketball and football."

Brandon said with new lungs, he'd be able to go back to school and hang out with his friend Torey McGuire, who has had a kidney transplant. His teachers are rooting for him.

"He is energetic, loving, caring about others. I look forward to him receiving new lungs," teacher Debi Swarm said.

Doctors say new lungs won't be a slam-dunk, because they come with risks including infections and rejection.

Those potential obstacles don't dissuade Brandon.

"I just want new lungs," he said.

If Brandon is approved for the transplant, the family would have to move to St. Louis for three months. 

They are saving money for that ordeal.

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