Father becomes living donor, saves son's life after losing 30 pounds

"I was just so proud of him and so happy that he was able to do that."


When Sean and Josie Kelley’s son, Sawyer, was born, they knew something wasn’t right.

"From birth he was very jaundiced, very yellow," Sean Kelley said.

Sawyer was born with Alagille syndrome, a genetic disorder that was impacting his liver. His parents soon learned that a transplant would be the only thing that would save him, but Josie could not donate because she also has Alagille syndrome. Sean was also eliminated.

"When I first put my information in, my weight was too high," Sean said. "So it kind of automatically disqualified me."

So in order to donate a piece of his liver to Sawyer, Sean lost 30 pounds.

Knowing he was a match for Sawyer, he soon got the phone call he was waiting for.

"It was actually Sawyer's coordinator, and she said, 'Guess what? You're a match. The surgery's scheduled,'" Sean said. "And I literally had to sit down."

The Kelleys traveled from Rochester, New York, to UPMC Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh to complete the surgery. The family is now breathing a sigh of relief after Sean's act of love.

"I was just so proud of him and so happy that he was able to do that," Josie Kelley said.

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