It’s always incredible when the answer to your prayers turns out to be right around the corner. Roman McCormick is just a teenager, but he’s already been through more health problems than some people ever endure. He was born with a rare genetic condition called Bor Syndrome, which causes kidney malfunction over time. He’s now 15 years old and in stage 4 kidney failure.
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Faced with dialysis, Roman and his parents made a desperate plea to their community on a local television news program. They asked their community to get tested to see if they are a match for Roman, but they had their doubts about anyone stepping up. They had no idea that someone who actually knows Roman happened to be watching the news that night, and he knew immediately that he would get tested.
Last school year, Eddie McCarthy taught Roman geometry at Whitmer High School in Toledo, Ohio. He remembered the teen right away, and as a parent himself, Eddie couldn’t help but sympathize with the entire family.
“When you see this, you instantly put yourself in their shoes,” he said.
The next day, Eddie went and got his blood tested to see if he’s a match. He admits to putting “as little thought into it as possible” so he wouldn’t talk himself out of it. When the results came back five months later and he found out he was a perfect match, he knew was as meant to be.
All that was left to do was tell the McCormick family that their collective nightmare was about to end. Eddie personally called Roman’s mother, Jamie Redd, to tell her the good news.
“When he called me, I was like, ‘Thank you, Jesus.'” Jamie recalled. “I was so glad it was someone who knew Roman and knew his story and knew his personality and knew how deserving he was.”
Roman’s father, Dan McCormick, was also thankful that his son’s donor turned out to be someone who knows him personally.
“To think that somebody so close to Roman would, of all the odds, come to actually being the perfect match for Roman, was just amazing,” he said. “Part of me has always felt guilty for passing this on to him and to know that someone can step up and help him, it just really means the world to me.”
Both Eddie and Roman’s parents are hopeful that a new kidney will give Eddie a fresh chance at life. He’s been fading so much from his illness over the years, becoming too tired to do the usual activities he always loved. They’re all hopeful that he’ll be able to get back to playing soccer and hanging with his friends. Jamie hopes the surgery will give her son “his teenage years back.”
“I can thank him for the rest of my life and it would still never be enough for what he’s doing,” Jamie said of Eddie’s selfless gift.
On July 19, Washington Local Schools shared the news that both Roman and Eddie were out of surgery, and the transplant was a success! We wish them both the best of health as they recover. Thank you, Eddie, for giving this teenager his life back.
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