Teen hit with health double whammy counts on support of friends

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- After 96 days in the hospital, a 13-year-old boy is headed home.

Justin Stout fell ill while on a cruise over spring break. His liver was failing. Before he could get approval for a transplant, he and his parents received worse news.

"They came back to tell us that he had leukemia and that it made him no longer a transplant candidate," said his mother Tami Stout.

They were able to convince doctors, though, to reconsider and Justin received the transplant at the end of March.

Since then he has undergone chemotherapy for the cancer. He's received dozens of cards, balloons and well-wishes. He says each of those messages played a role in his recovery.

"It shows me that they're my friends, that they care," said Justin Stout.

Stout's friends, neighbors and family planned a surprise "Welcome Home" parade for him Friday, lining the streets of his New Territory neighborhood with balloons and signs wishing him well.

"We want everybody on the sides of the streets: waving their hands, clapping for him, because the kid has really fought through," said neighbor Melanie Remy.

While Stout is out of the hospital, his battle against Leukemia is not yet over. He must endure ongoing treatment. He is also now trying to make up time lost in school, so he can catch up with his classmates.
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