Boy, 2, gets kidney donation from parents' former classmate

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A high school friendship was rekindled by a medical crisis and the reunion resulted in a young boy receiving a life-saving kidney transplant. (WLS)

A young boy received a life-saving organ transplant from a woman who went to high school with his parents - and it all stemmed from a simple Facebook post.

Liz Wolodkiewicz, 31, hadn't been in touch with high school sweethearts Ryan and Ashley Wagner since they graduated from Johnsburg High School.

But when she read that their 2-year-old son Miles was in need of a kidney transplant on Facebook, she immediately got tested and found she was a match.

"I still remember the day that Miles got sick and how my heart just sank for them," Wolodkiewicz said.


"It was the answer to many prayers. It was that light at the end of the tunnel we had been waiting for," Ashley Wagner said.

Miles has a rare kidney disorder called hyperoxaluria that required a liver transplant in January 2016.

"The liver lacks a specific enzyme to detoxify an intermediary product of metabolism," explained Dr. Craig Langman, Lurie Children's Hospital.

Miles was on dialysis for more than a year while awaiting a kidney transplant. Tragically, Miles' father Ryan Wagner is dying of stage IV colon cancer.

Ryan Wagner said his son inspires him to stay positive even as he's endured more than 70 rounds of chemotherapy.

"He is just so happy with everything he does. It would almost make me feel guilty not to have the same kind of happiness even though I'm going through my own struggles," Ryan Wagner said.

Miles underwent the six-hour kidney transplant at Lurie Children's Hospital on Feb. 4 and is now in recovery. Doctors said the procedure was successful.

Wolodkiewicz said she had no second thoughts about the surgery and had only met Miles twice.

"He's a little bit of a flirt. He gave me a kiss on the lips then he pushed my cheek and gave me a kiss on the cheek, too," Wolodiewicz said with a smile.

Miles will need to take immuno-suppression medication for his donated organs the rest of his life, but his doctors said he should make a full recovery.

Doctors also said Miles will not need dialysis anymore and he'll be able to be an active child.
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societyhealthtransplantchildren's healthcanceru.s. & worldfacebookhigh schoolIllinois
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