CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It was the day before Halloween 2019 that Coast Guard Petty Officer Scott Ferguson got the scary diagnosis that his 8-year-old son Xavier had Leukemia.
More than two years later, the now 10-year-old received his final round of chemotherapy Friday at Driscoll Children's Hospital. It's a moment traditionally celebrated at the hospital by the patient ringing a bell.
“It felt really good,” Xavier said about his bell ringing.
But the celebration of his "graduation" from cancer treatments was only beginning. As doctors discharged Xavier, a Coast Guard MH-65 helicopter swooped in for a landing on the hospital's helipad.
On-board was Captain Hans Govertsen and other officers with a wrapped gift for Xavier. They joined dozens of other guardsmen and their families who'd already arrived at the hospital and were waiting for their brave patient to walk out the door.
"Taking care of family members like Petty Officer Ferguson and his family and Xavier who’s gone through this — it means the world to us,” Govertsen said.
Xavier was greeted outside the hospital with applause and cheers from his Coast Guard "family".
Then, he got to take a seat inside the helicopter as his father's fellow guardsmen explained how it works.
“My command, my chiefs, everybody I work with have just been in our corner," the older Ferguson said. "Any time we’ve needed anything for his treatment, they’ve always given us time off. It’s been pretty unreal."
The camaraderie shared among the guardsmen wasn't lost on one of the people who helped Xavier fight Leukemia.
“I want to thank the Coast Guard for doing all this for Xavier," pediatric oncologist Dr. Catherine Boston said. "And it’s just so exciting to see so many people here to celebrate his special day.”
In the days moving forward, it's all about staying healthy for Xavier — and that process may have already started.
"A lot better," he said when asked how he felt leaving the hospital.