A Pennsylvania mother’s mission to get her young daughter a new liver began and ended on Facebook thanks to a former high school classmate she hadn’t seen in years.
Donya McCoy’s three-year-old daughter Kennedy Stevenson suffers from an extremely rare liver disorder, and the toddler is one of just eight people in the world who have it. Donya learned that a liver transplant could cure her daughter, but she had no idea how to make it happen soon, so she decided to turn to social media.
“Okay Friends ... here it is ... the request of a lifetime,” wrote Donya McCoy in July. “Is there anyone out there who has O+ blood and would be willing to donate 25% of their liver to save Kennedy's life? Trust me, I know it’s a lot to ask, I can't even believe I'm posting this, but as a mother, I have to exhaust every option possible.”
Unexpectedly, McCoy received a Facebook message from a man she went to high school with offering to donate part of his kidney in order to save the little girl’s life.
“A guy I went to high school with messaged me and said, ‘I have O positive blood,’” McCoy explained. After undergoing some tests to see if he was a match with the three-year-old, doctors determined that he would be an ideal donor for her.
“I don't feel like there's ever a way that I can thank him enough," said McCoy, according to the Huffington Post. "I want this to be something that Kennedy knows is a special gift she was given by someone so selfless. That's the only way I think I could repay him, is to teach her to be as selfless as he is."
The donor, firefighter Michael Thompson, says that he knew he had to help as soon as he saw the post.
“It’s just something that I want to do,” said 36-year-old Thompson. “I was put here on Earth to help people.”
Kennedy became the first person with the rare disorder, known as S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency, to undergo a liver transplant, and now, reports say that she is recovering from the procedure.
“It’s pretty special to think that part of him lives in Kennedy now,” McCoy said.