‘He fought a good fight’: Charlotte boy who had double lung transplant dies

CHARLOTTE — Justin “Big Deuce” Oliver, a Charlotte boy who had a rare lung condition that affects one in a million children, died Sunday night at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

A little more than a year ago, the boy, who was 2 years old at the time, had a double lung transplant, which has never been done before.

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His family told Channel 9 he was thriving after the procedure.

“He fought a good fight, so right now I’m hurting but yet I feel alright because I think he knew that he was alright,” Big Deuce’s aunt, Janice Easterling, said.

Easterling said music was all the toddler needed to have a good time.

“He loved to dance and he will tell you what he don’t want and he was just so intelligent to be so young,” she said.

Family members said they cherished the time they shared with the boy.

“He was very resilient and he never had a bad day,” Big Deuce’s great uncle, Charles McCrorley, said. “I thank God for the time that God allowed us for him to be here.”

The boy’s family and friends gathered at the West Charlotte Recreation Center on Wednesday evening for a prayer vigil in his honor. Drums of Hope performed and many kind words were shared about his life.

His grandmother, Brenda Foster, said she will never forget about the last time Big Deuce spoke to his mother.

“He drew his mother a picture the day before and before he went under he said, ‘Mommy I love you,’ because he knew he wasn’t gonna come back. She said, ‘Deuce, I love you too.’ He said, ‘No Mommy, I love you.’”

The boy’s body will be transported back to Charlotte from Texas and he will be laid to rest on Sunday at New Hope Baptist on Hawthorne Lane at 2 p.m. The family said all who want to attend are welcome.

(WATCH: 2-year-old Charlotte boy stays strong after double lung transplant)