Little Boo has been accumulating fans since he came to Mayo Clinic in 2013. And last week, he went a little Hollywood. Robert Maddox, affectionately known as Little Boo, came to Rochester after spending nearly 500 days, and two birthdays, in a New Orleans hospital battling the H1N1 virus. Some of his organs had shut down, but he wasn't healthy enough for transplant. At Mayo, his doctors discovered that a fistula was giving Boo pulmonary hypotension and other blockages were sending deoxygenated blood to his heart. Once they fixed all of that, Boo finally got healthy enough for a new kidney, which he received from his mother.
After that transplant, Boo's surgeon, Mikel Prieto, M.D., talked about better days ahead for his young patient, including starting school and finally getting his hands on that slice of pizza he'd asked for so many times while in the hospital, even though he knew he couldn't have it until he was healthy. Last week, we learned that little Boo enjoys more than just pizza. And that he has some pretty famous new fans. His story caught the attention of the folks at "The Meredith Vieira Show," and Boo and his parents appeared in an episode, during which we learned that Boo liked to dream of many foods he saw on his favorite channel, The Food Network.
In fact, Vieira noted that Boo was so enamored with one of the network's shows -- Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives -- that he kept a list of all of the places they filmed that he wanted to visit. And he wouldn’t let doctors schedule anything while the show was on. Vieira surprised Boo with a book signed by the show's Guy Fieri. If she had Boo check out a nearby monitor, where he saw a recorded message from the man himself. "I gotta tell you … you say I'm your hero? Dude, you're my hero," Fieri told Boo from Baltimore, where he was opening a new restaurant. "You are a warrior. You've got the strength of like 10 men." Then, after apologizing for not being able to be there in person, Fieri said, "Listen, I got a great idea. Meredith, when you guys get done, put him on a train. Send him to Baltimore. Come hang out at my new restaurant. We'll have some great eats, and maybe we'll go hang out on the set of Triple D."
Shocked and in disbelief, Boo turned to his parents for confirmation of what had really just happened. The cameras then landed on Dr. Prieto, who was all smiles. In a video on the Mayo Clinic News Network, Dr. Prieto calls Boo the bravest kid he's ever met. "He looked like he wasn't going to make it multiple times," he says. "But he came through it." And now he can start working his way through that long list of new places to eat, thanks to Fieri and Mayo Clinic.
We may not have hair (or cooking skills) like Fieri, but you can hang out with us and share your comments below. And don't forget to share this story with others while you're here.
Here's the clip from "The Meredith Vieira Show."