Within 30 minutes of finding out a little boy named Bodie needed a kidney transplant, Taylor Pikkarainen signed up to try and be his donor.
By February 2020, she was approved to save the complete stranger’s life, and their surgery was scheduled for March. But then the novel coronavirus pandemic began and all nonessential procedures were put on pause. That’s when Taylor’s lifesaving instincts kicked in once more! She traveled to New Jersey to serve as a nurse on the front lines while she waited for Bodie’s surgery to be rescheduled.
Bodie has a progressive condition that caused his kidneys to fail. Right after he was born, he spent a month in the hospital, and even after he was released, he had to frequently return for dialysis treatments.
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When the 1-year-old’s transplant surgery was postponed, his mom, Gloria Hall, was understandably devastated.
“The hospital basically shut down all nonemergency surgeries,” she told GMA. “For us, worrying about Bodie and his health, it was frustrating, but at the same time, nobody at that time knew how the whole situation was going to go.”
Eventually, the operation was rescheduled, so Taylor returned home to Minnesota, ready to save yet another life.
A couple days before the procedure, the two of them got to meet for the first time. Then, on Taylor’s 27th birthday, she selflessly gave Bodie one of her kidneys!
Gloria and the rest of Bodie’s family members are beyond grateful for the sacrifice Taylor made! “It’s the most amazing gift I think that you can give somebody,” the mom explained.
As for Taylor, she said she would “100 percent do it again” if she could, which isn’t surprising given how hard she works to care for others!
Fortunately, the two of them have recovered and are doing well. In fact, Bodie is thriving! His mom said he looks healthier than he ever has — and even took his first steps not long after the surgery!
Now, Taylor gets a text update on Bodie’s improvement and his small victories nearly every day. They have truly gone from strangers to family!
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