HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV) - Shinnston residents Amy and Dustin Cummings and their six children are one big, happy family. But on July fifth, their world turned upside down when their youngest son Jaxon became deathly ill.
"Jaxon went into a seizure from high blood pressure; we never knew that he was sick and this was the first symptom," said Amy.
At the hospital, the family received devastating news.
"They said he was in renal failure and we didn't know what was going on, so they life-flighted him to Pittsburgh," Amy said.
At UPMC, Jaxon was finally diagnosed with infant nephronophthisis, a genetic disorder that affects the kidneys.
The 16-month-old was on dialysis for months and was in desperate need of a kidney. That's where 21-year-old Katy Pigott of Wallace stepped in to help.
"Amy had posted on social media a picture of Jaxon connected to a ton of wires and machines and it broke my heart," Katy said.
Katy started fundraisers to help the family financially, but wanted to do more.
"Then she posted the application to be a living kidney donor and I didn't hesitate; it was like something else came over me and I just filled it out," Katy explained.
Miraculously, Katy was a match, and agreed to donate her kidney to Jaxon.
"That's one of the things that surprised me the most: who else, at [Katy's] age would of doing that?" Amy said.
On December fifth, exactly five months from when he was first hospitalized, Jaxon and Katy had the life-saving surgery. They both got home just in time for Christmas and are doing great.
"Jaxon needed a kidney and God called me to give him one of mine," said Katy.
The families are forever connected.
"She's family, her mom is family; it felt like we were family from the beginning," Amy said.
For Jaxon and his family, Katy's selfless gift was the greatest Christmas present they'll ever receive.
"It's a miracle," said Amy.
"It really makes me so happy to know that he has the chance at a normal life," said Katy, through tears.
She continued, "Just to be a part of his testimony is indescribable."
They hope Jaxon's story will inspire more people to become organ donors.
To learn more about becoming an organ donor, check out the related links tab on the upper-right hand side of your screen.