Grieving mom hopes 5-month-old's story inspires others to become living donors

A grieving mom is hopeful her son’s legacy will inspire others to become living donors.

"If he can inspire one person who offered a piece of their liver to still give a piece of their liver to another child, then I feel like he has served his purpose," said Kaylee Conradi. "That’s the legacy I want him to leave behind is helping people, and since he’s not here to be able to do that, I plan to do that for him and to never stop. He will always be in my heart."

We first introduced you to Bennie, a 5-month-old with a rare metabolic disorder called propionic academia last Monday, which is when his mom told us he was being treated at Seattle Children’s Hospital and was on a priority list to receive a liver transplant.

Conradi said her son was smart, feisty and had a huge personality. 

"We just really miss him. I would give anything in the world to squeeze his sweet little cheeks again one more time and have him give me the stink eye, the side eye," said Conradi. "It just has really given me great faith in humanity that Bennie was so loved by more than just our immediate family."

Sadly, Bennie died in his parent’s arms last Thursday after developing sepsis and going into septic shock.

His mom said Bennie fought his little heart out, until the very end. 

"He’s been so sick before, you know we thought he would pull through, but I think it was just too much for his little body this time," said Conradi. "He passed away in our arms last week."

After our story aired, Conradi said there was an outpouring of support from our viewers. Not only with words of encouragement, love and prayers but also an outreach of interest on becoming a living organ donor for Bennie.

"The University of Washington just had an outpouring of people that they couldn’t even keep up, with offers of their liver," said Conradi. "The people who had found it in their heart to sign up to be a living donor for Bennie, if they would like to continue to go through the process of being a living donor, I think it’s important for other children as well. Bennie’s not the only little boy who needs a liver."

Conradi and her husband will hold a memorial service and celebration of life for Bennie in a few weeks.

The family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for Bennie’s funeral and medical costs.

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