Nine-year-old Andrew Nesbitt is just like any other boy his age. He loves to play outside with his brother and cars.

But one day in May, that all changed.

“He came back from school all tired, like really tired,” said Ben Nesbitt, Andrew’s father.

“He just lay on the couch. And the next morning he woke up, he was yellow, and we took him to the emergency.”

Under the care of doctor’s at Victoria’s General Hospital, Andrew’s health declined rapidly. His liver was failing and fast.

Andrew was bumped to the top of Canada’s liver transplant list and air evacuated to Edmonton two days later.

“There were a lot of people in Victoria praying for him,” said Nesbitt.

But first, Andrew had to wait for a match. He faced constant dialysis, completely dependent on blood donations from strangers to keep him alive.

“One person had to donate regularly for three years to be able to give Andrew the amount of blood he needed to save him for the past week,” said Nesbitt.

Andrew is now recovering from a so-far successful liver transplant surgery. The doctors are hopeful and so are his parents, but the journey is going to be a long one.

The family will spend another three to four months in the Edmonton hospital, waiting to see if the organ takes.

And that wait time means a lot of extra expenses. Ones that come just eight months after Ben Nesbitt, the family’s primary breadwinner, lost his full-time job.

Nesbitt had been working at the Deep Cove Chalet when it gutted by a fire in October.

But with the community’s support, the family’s GoFundMe page is already nearly double the initial goal.

And while the money is needed, what they’re hoping is that Andrew’s story will encourage others to donate blood.

“Today was the first day I’ve ever donated blood,” said Nesbitt.

“Now that I’ve seen it, and how life-changing it is, bring a friend. If you haven’t done it, go do it, you will save a life.”

Kori Sidaway