CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Earlier this week, FOX19 told you exclusively about a Georgia boy who was waiting for FDA approval on an experimental skin procedure at Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati.
Thursday, his parents spoke only with FOX19's Stefano DiPietrantonio about some fantastic news. The FDA gave the go-ahead Wednesday for Alfred Real to get a skin biopsy.
He had the surgery Thursday and doctors took a sample. Soon, doctors will be able to replace the burned skin with new skin they are growing right now in a lab at Shriners.
The family's biggest concern is that he gets covered-up with new skin as quickly as possible so he doesn't get any life-threatening infections. Alfred is in critical condition right now.
"It's in the lab now and we'll know within 24-48 hours if there was any problem with the donor site," said Angela and Zac Real. They wait with Alfred's baby brother, Jasper.
"Alfred was waving to Jasper last night, he asks us to bring him to the window to see him before he goes to sleep at night," said Angela.
They're waiting to see if a skin biopsy taken from near their son Alfred's collar bone will blossom into fresh new skin for his badly-burned body.
"They will take a piece of skin off of him and they separate the top layer and the bottom layer and they grow the cells in a culture and then they put them back together and on his body," Zac Real said. "It takes about 3 weeks they say I think to get a size of a sheet of paper."
June 7th, Alfred Real was playing with a friend in the side yard of their suburban Atlanta home.
"Apparently got a hold of the lighter from the barbeque and a gas can and were starting a fire we didn't know about," Real said.
"We heard the yelling after the fact and ran out immediately to see what was wrong and were shocked to see that our son had been horribly burned," Angela Real said.
The Real's say their son is like any other 8-year-old, he's got plenty of energy and starting to get really restless being cooped-up in the ICU.
"Mama, c'mere, mama sit next to me, wait, mom do this, so we're already up to that, we're to that point, which is great, I love it, I'll do whatever he says," his mom laughs.
Right now, the Reals are thankful Alfred is responding to treatment and for anyone who has said a prayer or raised money to help the family.
"This hospital has given me hope and I feel like the power of prayer is the one thing that has given me the most hope," his mom said.
Some more good news from doctors, that all of Alfred's organs are intact. The hospital did not wait for the cultured skin to be grown. They took a second round of skin from his scalp and grafted it to part of his left arm Thursday.
The Reals say they're grateful for Faith Presbyterian Church for supporting them and for St. Xavier Church for bringing them communion. They're asking everyone to keep 8-year-old Alfred and their family in their prayers. He is expected to be in the ICU at Shriners for months.