4-year-old Noah Alderson was not supposed to live much after his birth.
"We prepared as much as you possibly can for that," his mom Tanasha Alderson told "Good Morning America."
Nine surgeries later, Noah is a happy, if medically fragile, little boy. He’s in need of open heart surgery – his third – to save his life.
But the family, who is from Spokane, Washington, had no way to transport their son to Boston Children’s Hospital where his surgery is scheduled for Sept. 9. Because of the amount of oxygen Noah requires to breathe, a commercial flight wasn’t possible. His mom said she applied for "at least 20" medical flights, but insurance would not cover it unless he was already a patient at the hospital.
"I was at the point where I thought I wasn’t going to be able to get him there," Alderson told "GMA."
Alderson's sister then wrote to a local news reporter. A viewer who saw the resulting piece about Noah’s plight then emailed an urgent request to Outdoorsy, a company that facilitates RV rentals. Within a day, the company had located an RV they loaned to the family to get Noah to Boston with all his medical equipment.
"When our Outdoorsy RV owner community notified us of Noah’s need to get to Boston, our team worked together with one of our Pro RV owners in Washington, Sebastian Bularz of Seattle RV Adventures, who immediately went out to purchase a new Class C RV to transport Noah and his family from Spokane to Boston," Outdoorsy CEO Jeff Cavins told "GMA."
Bularz also had the RV equipped with a second generator in case Noah’s machines required backup, Alderson said.
"My heart was overwhelmed," she said. "This was our last resort."
Outdoorsy is covering the RV rental costs, gas costs and lodging costs for the family's stay in Boston. But they also gave the whole family a tremendous gift along the way: a cross-country road trip of a lifetime.
The 13-day trip included stops to see Mount Rushmore, a walk on the field at Wrigley to watch the Chicago Cubs batting practice, a VIP tour of the Columbus Zoo to feed giraffes and ride a camel, and a stop to see Niagara Falls.
"It was an amazing adventure our kids never could have had. We could not afford this. And for my older kids, who have spent countless days in hospitals, it was the best experience," Alderson said.
Thanks to Outdoorsy, plus the KOA campgrounds that donated the stays to the family as they made their way east, "it didn’t feel like a medical trip, it felt like a family bonding trip," she added.
Noah’s upcoming surgery is "risky," Alderson said. "But we’re hopeful. He wasn’t supposed to live at all and he’s made it this far."