KELLY TOWNSHIP -- Things fell into place rather quickly to Katy Mahon. She went from being on the transplant list with others ahead of her, to getting that new kidney early Tuesday morning.
According to Katy's mom, they were out of options. It was either nine hours of dialysis a night or a new kidney. Katy has end-stage renal disease and her kidneys simply stopped working. "When they ran the blood work her kidney function, was showing just in the blood that her kidneys weren't doing anything."
A donor was lined up: a family friend, Geo Connolly of Milton. But then it was discovered he had a cancerous tumor on his kidney so he could not donate his kidney. Connolly is due to have surgery later this week.*
Katy's family tells us another donor kidney became available. It didn't match those ahead of Katy on the transplant list, but it was perfect for Katy.
The Mahon's family friend, Amy McQueen of Lewisburg said Katy's mom Amy called her shortly after our interview with the family wrapped up.
"'We're on our way to Geisinger. There's a potential kidney for us.' I was like, 'What?' So they headed over and sat in the waiting room. They ran a couple of tests and finally at about 7:30 they said it was hers," McQueen said.
McQueen said Katy's surgery started at 11 p.m. Monday at Geisinger Medical Center near Danville. McQueen said Katy is doing well.
"She's very tired and a little sore, but she wakes up every 15-20 minutes and rolls around and is hugging her little stuffed animals."
Katy's family says they are emotional about the donation because someone else lost their life in order for Katy to get her kidney.
Katy's family says they are grateful for the outpouring of support they've gotten from people they don't even know.
Since our story aired yesterday, Katy's family says a lot of people came forward to be tested, to possibly be donors. Katy's family wants the message out, that even though Katy has a new kidney, there are still people out there who need help. Be a donor.
"Donate, donate, donate. Put that on your driver's license. It's so important. It saved this little girl's life," McQueen said.
Katy says she is excited to have a Diet Coke, something she could not drink while on dialysis.
*Update 7/24/15: Geo Connolly had surgery to remove his kidney Thursday and at last check was recovering at Geisinger.
Katy Mahon of Lewisburg likes to play baseball and basketball just like your average 9 year old. But just over one year ago, the Mahon family realized Katy is not average when she was rushed to the hospital.
"When they ran the bloodwork her kidney function was showing just in the blood that her kidneys weren't doing anything," Amy Mahon said.
Katy's mom Amy said her daughter has end-stage renal disease, which means she either needs a new kidney or dialysis to live. Katy gets nine hours of dialysis a night just to survive. That is where Geo Connolly of Milton comes in.
"This little girl stole my heart and I was going to do anything I could to help her," Connolly said.
When Katy's 11-year-old brother Corey joined Geo's summer baseball team near Lewisburg, Geo got to know the Mahon family.
"He is just nice to me and he is my buddy," Katy said.
Geo talked with his family about donating one of his kidneys to Katy. Tests showed he was a perfect match.
"It was almost like it was too good to be true," Connolly said.
Turns out, it was.
The two families were ready to go through with the transplant when earlier this month, Geo got a devastating phone call which would change all of their lives forever.
During Geo's final checkup, doctors found a cancerous tumor on one of his kidneys.
"I was devastated. Not so much for me, but the fact that I could not help this little girl," Connolly said.
"We're both very strongly fighting for lives," Amy said.
Geo says doctors wouldn't have found the tumor had he not tried to donate his kidney.
"I thought I was here to save hers and she turned around and saved mine. I can never repay her," Connolly said.
"He's calling you his life saver. What do you think about that?"
"Good," Katy said.
Geo is scheduled to have surgery later this week to remove the tumor, while Katy is back on the kidney transplant list. The two families say they will be friends forever.