Hyde Talbot, a 4-year-old from Forsyth County, has been selected as the Macy’s Pink Pig VIP.
As the VIP, or very important patient, Talbot will be the first child to enjoy the Pink Pig ride Thursday during a preview event for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta patients at the Lenox Square Mall Macy’s.
Talbot’s mother, Phyllis, said Hyde and his 7-year-old sister, Ruth, are “all excited” about the event.
“We go [to the Macy’s Pink Pig ride] every year,” she said. “So I don’t think they really get it, but they’re excited because they won’t have to wait in line.”
Talbot was nominated for VIP status by representatives of Children’s, which receives a portion of the Pink Pig proceeds each year. Since 2003, the program has raised more than $40,000 for Children’s.
Talbot is the first Georgian and third person in the nation to undergo a combined kidney transplant and experimental drug treatment for atypical hemolytic-uremic syndrome, or Atypical HUS.
The condition is a genetic blood disorder that causes the immune system to attack red blood cells.
Diagnosed at 18 months old, Talbot suffered the failure and removal of both kidneys, severe high blood pressure, anemia, blood transfusions and the constant threat of potentially deadly bacteria and viral infections.
Before his transplant earlier this year, he had to endure 10 hours of home dialysis every night and hospital stays lasting up to weeks at a time.
Since the transplant, his mother said, he has been “doing great.”
“We still have to go down [to Children’s] every two weeks for his transfusions, but the transplant is working well and the drug he has been on just got FDA approval, so that should make things a little more easy,” she said.
According to a release, the Pink Pig has been an Atlanta tradition for nearly 60 years. It debuted in 1953 at the downtown Rich’s store.
In 2003, the Macy’s Pink Pig was reintroduced at Lenox, featuring a journey through a life-sized storybook.