GRIFFITH | Hundreds of supporters, including the Griffith High School baseball team, showed up on 9-year-old Blake Loudenber's door step to welcome him home Wednesday.
Blake, born with polycystic kidney disease, had been waiting for a kidney ever since he was an infant and finally received that call on March 14 from the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. However, his road to recovery has been anything but smooth.
Blake's body immediately rejected the organ and started to experience seizures and even stopped breathing twice.
"This journey has been filled with highs and lows but the amount of support we have been given is inspiring," said Kelly Ray, Blake's aunt. "Blake has been overwhelmed with love and I know it has helped him."
After 28 days in the hospital, Blake was finally discharged after an intense kidney transplant. He returned in style with a surprise hero's welcome and a parade arranged by the Griffith Police and Fire Departments and greeted by hundreds of family, friends and community of supporters.
"We know Blake has been through a lot," said Kevin Strbjak, of the Griffith Police Department. "He has been so courageous through this whole process. He is our hero."
On a cool and wet night, Blake's home was covered with nothing but warmth, with banners, posters, get-well messages, balloons and ribbons covering his house and yard. It let him know that he was in the minds and hearts of his community and the thousands of Facebook followers around the world.
"Blake has been through so much," said Christy Stordeur, Blake's aunt. "We are just so glad to have him back home and the support has been wonderful. We are extremely thankful."
To view Blake's Homecoming photo gallery, visit https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.651552948193157.1073741827.206864452662011&type=1