Children are life’s greatest gifts, and for one Pennsylvania family, it has never been more accurate.
Diana Zippay, of Monongahela, received a much-needed kidney transplant at Allegheny General Hospital Tuesday after her two children, 8-year-old Bailey and 5-year-old Tobias, created a viral video to help her find a donor.
"We wanted her to get the kidney," her daughter Bailey told InsideEdition.com. "It makes me feel good. We thought, ‘Wow, mommy’s going to get her kidney.'"
In a video posted to Facebook, Bailey and Tobias could be seen holding up signs asking viewers to be a living donor to their mom.
“I never expected the response that we received,” Zippay told InsideEdition.com. “It was one of the most powerful moments of my life to know that I was given that chance among all other people.”
Zippay has Alport syndrome, a genetic condition that causes kidney function to worsen over time. She is also deaf and relies on hearing aids as a result of the condition.
“If you have a part in the car that’s bad, and you replace it, the car runs just fine,” Zippay explained. “That’s exactly how to describe Alport’s.”
When a friend of the family Melissa Deighan saw the video her children made, she knew she had to do something about it, even though they were not a match.
“I couldn’t imagine those kids living the rest of their life without their mom. It just didn’t seem fair to me,” Deighan said. “When you’re a kid, you should have zero worries. You shouldn’t have to worry about losing your mom or your dad until you’re far, far, far into your life.”
She reached out to the National Kidney Registry and they were eventually able to set up a paired chain with Deighan as a peer donor.
In the chain, a peer will donate to someone in need as the recipient's peer does the same.
“Not only did Melissa save my life, but she saved the lives of all the other people in the chain as well by agreeing to do this,” Zippay said. “It kind of creates this beautiful spider web of life. You see organs moving to directions of the weaker side of the web… and you’re bringing them all back to life, essentially.”
Zippay’s kidney came from a 40-year-old donor in Philadelphia.
Deighan added, “I’m happy that these kids have a little peace of mind that their mommy is going to be around for a long time."