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Caldwell boy returns to school, gets hero's welcome after kidney transplant

He arrived at the school in style, thanks to the Caldwell police and fire departments.

CALDWELL - A Caldwell kindergartner made his triumphant return to school last week after a long couple months, in which he had to undergo a kidney transplant.

Landyn Ozuna Valdez traveled to Portland in March for a kidney transplant. It went better than anyone expected, and his recovery has been remarkable.

Though he won't official go back to school until the fall, on Monday, he felt strong enough to go visit his teacher and classmates at Caldwell's Wilson Elementary School.

He arrived at the school in style, thanks to the Caldwell police and fire departments.

With sirens blaring, firefighters and police escorted Landyn - who rode in a fire truck - to school. When they pulled into the parking lot, the entire school - students and staff - were waiting outside to greet him.

They chanted his name, and gave him a round of applause as he stepped out of the truck.

Caldwell Mayor Garrett Nancolas was there for a special proclamation.

"I Garrett Nancolas, Mayor of the City of Caldwell do hereby proclaim Monday April 30, 2018 as Landyn Ozuna Valdez day in the city of Caldwell," Nancolas said, reading the proclamation. "And encourage all Americans to consider participating by becoming organ and tissue donors."

It was an emotional morning for everyone, especially Landyn's mom.

"It's been a really long and crazy journey, but I really appreciate all the support and love." Tanis Ozuna said. "Welcome back Landyn!"

The school raised $400 for Landyn selling t-shirts with his favorite character - the Incredible Hulk - on them.

Then it was time to head inside for a party.

"Landyn is amazing," said his teacher, Kathy Vadapalli. "We just knew whenever he was coming back it was going to be big and he would get the party he deserves."

Landyn has been keeping up with his schoolwork from the hospital, and from home via Facetime.

At the party, he was still buzzing about his hero's welcome.

"A lot of people waving at me and so excited that I am home," he said.

"That was amazing for him because he deserves it," Kathy said. "But it was so amazing for all of our students to see it as well."

Landyn's family hopes that people will be inspired by his story, and will become organ and tissue donors.

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