An Illinois toddler has just received a kidney transplant, while his father fights a life-or-death battle of his own, CBS Chicago reports. And in a surprising turn of events, a Facebook page set up to support his father actually helped lead to the little boy’s life-saving surgery.
Two-year-old Miles Wagner was born with primary hyperoxaluria, a rare kidney disease. His father Ryan is battling colon cancer.
Miles was in need of a life-saving kidney transplant. He had undergone a liver transplant a year ago because of the condition, according to a statement from Lurie Children’s Hospital, where the procedure took place.
Then, through a family Facebook page set up for Ryan, a former classmate learned of baby Miles’ health struggles. Liz Wolodkiewicz had gone to high school with Ryan and Ashley Wagner in the village of Johnsburg, northwest of Chicago.
“Two things stuck out to me,” Wolodkiewicz said. “One was I was his exact blood type; and the second was her question, ‘Is it on your bucket list to save a life?’ And I thought that should be on everybody’s bucket list.”
“When I started the process of testing to see if I was a match, I just felt ‘If it’s meant to be, it will happen,’” she continued. “As the process evolved, I saw the hope that it brought the family. I found myself praying that it would be me.”
Wolodkiewicz was indeed a perfect match for Miles and she became his kidney donor. He received his new kidney on Monday.
The family shared the news on Facebook yesterday.
“Miles is doing great! His kidney numbers were already in the normal range today which is the first time we’ve seen that,” they write. “He is still producing plenty of urine, and his ultrasound this morning showed that everything was perfect. Plus it was just a little bit ago that he even started blowing kisses to the nurses again!”
Wolodkiewicz is also doing well, the family said.
“She will be going home today, but before she was heading out she stopped by to see Miles (photo below). She kissed him on the forehead and then he pointed to his stomach wanting her to kiss his stomach. Melted our hearts!”
While Miles’ prognosis is good, the family is struggling to deal with the fact that his father Ryan’s cancer has spread. He’s been through multiple rounds of chemotherapy.
“For me, the amount of time that I have – because of cancer – is definitely reduced, and my main goal was I wanted to see him healthy,” Ryan said.