The gift of life: Andrew and Savannah

Donation of Arkansas girl's liver allows Jacksonville boy a full life

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Andrew and Savannah

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Andrew Kozlowski is one active 4-year-old boy.  He's happy and healthy because when he was just 13-months-old, the Jacksonville Beach toddler received a life-saving liver transplant.

Andrew was born with Biliary Atresia, a condition in which bile isn't removed from the liver.

In Andrew's case, doctors said he desperately needed a new liver to survive.

Then they got the call that a donor liver was available.  Andrew's life was saved.

Andrew gets his anti-rejection medication twice a day, he goes to school and he even gets to play soccer.

It wasn't until this past Christmas, two and a half years after Andrew's life-saving transplant, the Kozlowski's got a letter from the mother of a 10-year-old girl killed in a car accident. The letter said "my daughter was your son's donor and I thought you might want to know a little bit about her."

That 10-year-old girl's name was Savannah. She loved Christmas and wrapping up her things and giving them as gifts to her family.  A giving little girl who's last gift was the gift of life.

Savannah's mother, Sheila McCluskey, hasn't met Andrew and his family in person, until now.  On Tuesday, McCluskey came from her small town in Arkansas to Jacksonville and allowed Mary Baer and Channel 4's cameras to be there as she met Andrew and his family.

"I told Joy, I said 'He looks so precious,'" McCluskey said. "God's got a reason for everything. What reason, we don't know," McCluskey said. "But I'm thankful, you know, that she could save somebody else."

Andrew's' mother, Cheston, said she always felt that one day the two families would come together.

"I kept praying that one day God would orchestrate it so that we would all meet ... and we would know this family because this family impacted us tremendously," she said.

Even at age 4, Andrew is fully aware of the events that led to his new liver.  Asked where Savannah is now, he has a quick answer: "With Jesus."

In addition to Andrew, Savannah's organs helped four other patients across the country live longer or better lives.

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