3-year-old gets part of man's liver in surgery made possible by social networking

PITTSBURGH — A 3-year-old girl is recovering at Children's Hospital after a first-of-its kind surgery made possible by social networking.

Kennedy Stevenson, 3, has a very rare metabolic disease, and an old friend of her mother donated part of his liver to help the little girl survive.

"It's pretty special to think that part of him lives in Kennedy now," said Donya McCoy, Kennedy's mom.

Kennedy has a disease called S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency.  A genetic mutation in her liver doesn't allow her body to process protein.

She is only one of six children in the world living with this disease, and on Tuesday, she was the first of the group to get a liver transplant to give her an opportunity for a better life.

Kennedy's new liver came from Michael Thompson, McCoy's high school classmate who answered a plea on Facebook.

"I think the only way I could ever do what he has done is to teach Kennedy about the gift he gave her and hope that she pays it forward in her life," McCoy said.

Thompson will be in recovery for about a week.  Kennedy will be at Children's Hospital for a few more months.