Oak Hill boy celebrates the end of leukemia treatment

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Kolton Hess, a ten-year-old boy from Oak Hill, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of seven.

After an almost four-year battle,  this story has a happy ending marking a new beginning.  Kolton finished his last treatment Wednesday at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Charleston. He rang the bell in front of his family and hospital staff. 

“Kolton is my saving grace,” Babette Hess, Kolton’s mom, said. “I’ve said that since he was little and he still is. I tell him every day that God put you here for a purpose and is saving you for something big someday. He’s my life. I love each of my kids more than life itself in different ways, different reasons, but he is a true warrior.” 

A true warrior indeed. Kolton Hess has not had an easy road to get to this day. Years of hospital stays and treatments and tests that were hard on his body, but he persevered and spoken like a true warrior, his emotions on Wednesday were simple. 

“Happy and good,” he said. 

For the medical staff that has taken care of him and has gotten to know his entire family, it was a bittersweet day as they know they will not be seeing Kolton as much, a patient who has become like family. 

“If you think about it, he has spent most of his life actually coming to hospital,” Dr. Mohamad Badawi, Kolton’s hematologist-oncologist, said. “It was actually a little bit few rough years for Kolton but now we are at the end. He is a great patient. He is actually a brave young man. He’s a fighter like his mom.” 

But his mom gives a lot of credit not only to the medical staff but to the community. When Kolton was diagnosed, friends, relatives and even strangers rallied together to help in any way they could. 

“Everybody’s been really good in the community,” Hess said. “I have friends, family, my work. I mean, just numerous people that have made donations, that have brought dinner over, brought clothes. I mean we would not have made it without my community. There’s just absolutely no way, so I’m thankful for everybody. I love each of you.” 

Now that Kolton has reached the end of his treatment, it’s all about getting back to being a kid again, being an older to his four siblings and enjoying the things he loves as he continues to be #KoltStrong. 

“Hunting and play football,” Kolton said. 

Kolton said his goal is to one day become a Navy Seal.

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Anna Saunders
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.