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Amazing! This FB Post Helped Toddler Get New Kidney
A Facebook post has helped to change the life of a toddler from Illinois, after it connected him to a woman who was willing to be a living kidney donor. The two-year-old boy, Miles Wagner, underwent a successful kidney transplant after his parents put up a Facebook post asking people to assist by volunteering to be a donor.
A former high school classmate of Miles’ parents, Elizabeth Wolodkiewicz, saw the post and volunteered.
The organ transplant was the second for Miles due to him being born with a genetic case of primary hyperoxaluria, which is a rare condition that can lead to kidney failure.
Miles’ mother, Ashley Wagner, told ABC News “He was 8 weeks old when he had a seizure and we took him to the ER and found out he was in kidney failure,”
The boy’s parents, Ashley and Ryan Wagner, are no stranger to serious diseases. Ryan Wagner was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer during the time his wife was pregnant and the couple started a Facebook page to update friends and family on his condition. When Miles was born, they started to include updates on him as well and their online following has grown from thereon.
“It started long before we had Miles and … we had a following for quite a while,” Ashley Wagner said.
“It’s kind of crazy how much strength we’ve gotten from their support [online] and they’re complete strangers.”
Miles’ condition continued to worsen and his doctors determined he would need both a liver transplant and a kidney transplant. While he successfully underwent a liver transplant from a deceased donor in January of last year, he still needed a kidney donor. This is when the Wagners turned to their online support network.
“I put it out there,” Ashley Wagner said. She asked people to volunteer to be a living donor, “if it is on your bucket list to save a life.“
After weeks of tests, doctors determined that Wolodkiewicz was, in fact, a donor match!
“There were tears of joy and relief and excitement and just thinking about the future,” Wagner said of the moment they learned Wolodkiewicz was a match.
The news that Miles had a donor give his parents some peace of mind about the future.
“He’s been fighting [stage 4 cancer] for 3 years and the odds are not in his favor,” Wagner said.
“It’s a relief for all of us but especially him. Whatever happens to him, if he passes away from cancer … he knows that his legacy will live on through him.”
Miles underwent the kidney transplant at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Hospital staff said the operation was a success and that Miles and Wolodkiewicz, who underwent surgery at North Western Memorial Hospital, are both in recovery.
A few days before the surgery, Wagner spoke to ABC News and said that she was looking forward to going on trips outside of Illinois with Miles and showing him places he’s never seen before. Prior to the surgery, the family could never travel far since Miles had to remain nearby the hospital for ongoing dialysis treatment.
“This is the big light at the end of the tunnel,” Ashley Wagner told ABC News.
“When we started this whole journey, it seemed like the light at the end of the tunnel was never going to be there.“