Stranger Travels 2,000 Miles To Donate Liver To 10-Month-Old Baby Who Desperately Needs It

Little Jacob Cooper was born with biliary atresia, a dangerous and rare liver disease that leads to potentially fatal blockages in the organ’s bile ducts. At 10 months old, the little boy underwent surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, though doctors warned his parents, Chad and Aileen, that to survive long-term, Jacob would need a liver transplant. Unfortunately, neither of his parents were a match and they started to panic about what would happen to the boy. Then a hero came forward.

  1. Surgeons found a match… but he lived 2,000 miles away. In October 2020, surgeons let the Coopers know that they managed to find a suitable donor for Jacob, though he lived across the country and, given that there’s an international pandemic going on and travel restrictions were in place, it wouldn’t be easy to bring the two together. However, donor Michael Speck stopped at nothing to make sure the little boy’s life was saved.
  2. Michael Speck drove the 2,000 miles to get to Jacob. While he never saw the boy face to face, he made the donation of a portion of his liver so that Jacob could have his life-changing surgery. Jacob’s parents were overwhelmed by the gesture and said as much during their first Zoom meeting with Speck. “Your son is born with an issue, and then somebody from across the country you have never met shows up to save his life,” Chad said.
  3. The Cooper family will forever be grateful to Speck. “There’s no words that can describe how thankful we are to you Michael, you saved our son’s life,” Chad told Speck, who replied, “It’s my honor.” Now, Jacob has had his surgery and is continuing to improve on a daily basis.
  4. Speck says donating to Jacob was a no-brainer. “The surgeon told me it was a little 10-month-old baby,” Speck recalled. “When I found that out I just burst out crying.” He knew then that he needed to get in his car and drive to Los Angeles to help the little boy out, and that’s exactly what he did.
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