The Power Of Social Network Saves A Toddler’s Life

kennedy hugs mother

The McCoy family instantly fell in love when their newborn daughter Kennedy came into their life. She was their only child and the trio shared 8 months of bliss before Kennedy had an unexpected seizure. The McCoys became concerned for Kennedy’s health and took her to the doctor. They learned that Kennedy had S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency, a rare metabolic disorder that only 8 other people have ever been diagnosed with. This affected amino acid levels and led to toxic buildup in her body. They feared she wouldn’t survive, but they hoped medical professionals could offer some solutions.


child gets liver transplant
Image via Donya McCoy Facebook

The McCoys enlisted the help of the world-renowned, Dr. S. Harvey Mudd. He prescribed a change in diet, but further treatment would be necessary. Dr. Mudd passed away about a year into Kennedy’s treatments, but Dr. Kevin Strauss stepped in and decided a liver transplant was the best way to help Kennedy. After years of doctor’s appointments and therapy, Kennedy could be one step closer to leading a normal life.

Liver transplants are incredibly difficult to come by, especially for a rare disorder. And, because her disease was likely inherited, neither of Kennedy’s parents (or relatives) were able to donate. Donya McCoy remained hopeful for Kennedy and decided to take matters into her own hands. She took to Facebook to make a public plea for her daughter. Luck was in her favor, and soon after her plea was made, a high school classmate sent her a message, saying that his blood type was a match with Kennedy’s, and the two kept the conversation going from there.

kennedy and donya mccoy
Image via Donya McCoy Facebook

After going back and forth for a while (with their messaging), Michael Thompson decided to donate 25% of his liver to the daughter of someone he barely knew in high school. Now Kennedy has a functioning liver and is staying at the hospital for a few months to recover.

Wow. Thompson’s generosity is an amazing story of selflessness and giving. Of his donation, Michael said it was “one of the greatest things I will probably do in my life, to give more life to another human.”

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