A mother who lost her four-year-old son in a tragic accident has said she feels “blessed” after becoming close to the little girl who received her intestine in a transplant.
Waylon Pietz of Petrolia, Ontario, donated his heart, kidneys and intestines to others in need after he died when a dresser fell on him.
After Waylon’s death, his mother Madison, 25, saw influencer Bella Thomson, 11, online and noticed she was undergoing an intestine transplant.
After realizing Bella lived nearby and reaching out to her mother, Kyla, 40, on Facebook, the couple discovered the intestine was originally Waylon’s.
Thanks to Waylon’s donation, Bella has been able to live a “full, fun-filled life” and the families have also become good friends from the mother’s daily text messages.
Four-year-old Waylon Pietz of Petrolia, Ontario donated his heart, kidneys and intestines after a dresser fell on him, leaving him on life support (pictured: Waylon and his mother Madison).
After connecting on Facebook, Bella’s mother Kyla (both pictured right) and Madison were able to deduce that Bella had received Waylon’s intestine.
Madison said, “Waylon lives through Bella, it’s very overwhelming.” Elsewhere, his heart still beats in another child: I contacted the other two organ recipients via letters on January 29.
“It is very rare to contact any organ recipient as legally the hospital cannot provide any details immediately, so I feel very blessed.”
Waylon’s tragic accident occurred on August 10, while a babysitter was caring for him.
His mother came home from work to discover that a dresser had fallen on her little boy.
Waylon was rushed to the ICU at the University Hospital of Ontario. But after four days, Madison was faced with an excruciating decision.
Although Waylon was still alive, medical professionals told the mother on August 14 that she had to make a decision since the four-year-old was highly unlikely to wake up.
“I had a heartbeat; I wasn’t expecting it.” She was waiting for them to say ‘time of death’, as seen on television. But her body was still alive; he was just neurologically deceased,” Madison said.
“Organ donation was something I had to decide at that time. Waylon was autistic and non-verbal; he couldn’t make his own decisions, even before the accident.
‘There was a lot of paperwork. You sign all these papers and it’s a long waiting process.
‘They will tell you the names and gender of the recipients, but the names must be kept confidential for two years.
After doctors told Madison that the four-year-old was highly unlikely to wake up, she decided to donate her organs, and now her intestine has allowed Bella to live a “full, fun-filled life.”
Madison came across influencer Bella (right), 11, on Facebook, messaging her mother Kyla that she believed her daughter received Waylon’s (left) intestine. Since then, the families have become close friends with her mother’s daily text messages.
Kyla instantly burst into tears after seeing Madison’s message, which said that the intestine her daughter would receive may belong to Madison’s late four-year-old boy.
She shared, “There is a chance that you will never connect with your intended family.”
In just three days, Waylon’s organs were sent to recipients across Canada, including his intestine, which was donated to Bella.
Bella had Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition that affects the large colon and affects a person’s ability to digest food, and was being treated at SickKids Hospital in Toronto.
She also suffered from severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and dwarfism, and doctors told her mother, Kyla, that even a common cold could be fatal for the girl.
Kyla shared: ‘Bella had a very rough and very traumatic start in life. She spent two years in the hospital without returning home.
‘In the first year alone, he had five intestinal surgeries. But his immune system was so weakened that they couldn’t continue.
‘She was flown to many hospitals and eventually ended up at SickKids, where she was put on the intestine transplant list when she was seven.
“They told us he wouldn’t survive the next five years.”
On August 17, 2023, Bella underwent the life-saving intestine transplant during a 20-hour operation, while Kyla and her husband Lyle Thomson, 37, waited anxiously.
Kyla decided to check her Facebook messages, after documenting Bella’s experience online.
While checking his phone, he saw a message from Madison, who told him that she had been following Bella’s journey for months and that she believed she might be receiving Waylon’s intestine.
“I had been receiving letters from an anonymous recipient; normally I wouldn’t send messages like that to a stranger on social media, but I felt an inexplicable connection,” Madison explained.
“I told him I thought Bella might be receiving Waylon’s intestine, as the family liaison lady told us, intestine transplants are incredibly rare.”
When Kyla saw Madison’s message, she instantly burst into tears and the two mothers continued to stay in touch.
Bella’s transplant was a complete success and six months later, she is “thriving,” according to her mother, Kyla.
Bella had Hirschsprung’s disease, a condition that affects the large colon and affects a person’s ability to digest food.
The girl also had combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and dwarfism, and medical professionals said that even a common cold could be fatal for the girl.
After spending most of her life in the hospital, the girl is able to go camping and is “absolutely thriving” after her intestine transplant, according to her mother.
She said: ‘He used to need needle medication twice a day and intravenous medication 20 times a day through his G tube.
‘He now takes five oral tablets a day – it’s such a significant difference! I am a very proud mother; She is absolutely thriving.
Kyla added: “We can take her camping, which is something we’ve never been able to do because she spent her whole life in the hospital.”
The couple finally confirmed the donation by sending special stickers on the anonymous letters sent through the medical teams.
“I have this connection with Waylon and I still watch Bella’s videos all the time and we text every day,” Madison said.