JASPER, Texas — A Jasper family is asking for donations to help a child who has fought his whole life achieve his dreams of being on the big screen.
Southeast Texas doctors consider Andrew Thomas to be a walking miracle. Since the day he was born, Thomas has spent life in and out of the hospital.
Thomas was diagnosed with a heart condition called truncus arteriosus type 1 and severe scoliosis.
“He has had multiple surgeries, three open-heart surgeries, 20 heart catheterizations, two spinal surgeries, a trachea, a vent,” Shiena McClelland, Thomas' mother, said.
Doctors thought Thomas' life expectancy would be short and that he would never walk. The now 11-year-old boy defied the odds time and time again and is ready to take on the world.
“He is the first one in the world to survive his heart condition this long, they usually don't live to past 2, and he is 11 now,” McClelland said.
The child from Jasper has his eyes set on the big screen. Thomas dreams of becoming an actor.
“I love, I genuinely been born with acting, and I love acting and my whole dream was to like just, just to be on TV, and, like, to go on tour and all this other stuff," Thomas said.
McClelland fully supports and believes in her son’s dreams and helped him land a Disney audition. Once again, Thomas defied the odds.
“When he auditioned he had like two days to memorize the whole commercial skit, and he did,” McClelland said. “He worked really hard on it, and so when it came to the audition, the last ten minutes, I just worked with him on his body language, how to stand, how to walk, and he nailed it.”
The 11-year-old beat out performers from around the country and earned a spot as one of the top 10 performers in a Discovery Spotlight audition.
Thomas could soon be on his way to South Carolina for another round of auditions. However, there is another obstacle standing in his way.
Thomas' family has to raise $2,500 to get him to South Carolina. The family has started a GoFundMe. As of 10 a.m. Thursday they have raised $1,015.
“I have always wanted to be a performer,” Thomas said. “I have always wanted, I wanted to be, on TV like Disney, Nickelodeon, and all this other stuff. I wanted to be an actor, but my surgeries and stuff. I couldn't do it, so that's why I couldn't but this time, I can do it.”
As Thomas preservers and follows his passion, he has a message for every child who feels their dreams are out of reach.
"If you don't believe that you can't do this or you can't do that, don't be negative be positive, and you have to keep on, like just keep on, and do your best," Thomas said.