Poplar Bluff family writes letter to donor family after boy's he - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Poplar Bluff family writes letter to donor family after boy's heart transplant last Christmas Day

"Liam has not once had any rejection. No signs of rejection," Jessica Gregory said. (Source: Mike Mohundro) "Liam has not once had any rejection. No signs of rejection," Jessica Gregory said. (Source: Mike Mohundro)
In September of 2015 Liam's parents thought he came down with a bug, but found he had an enlarged heart. (Source: Gregory Family) In September of 2015 Liam's parents thought he came down with a bug, but found he had an enlarged heart. (Source: Gregory Family)
The Gregory's plan to give the letter to the transplant organization after the holiday season. (Source: Gregory Family) The Gregory's plan to give the letter to the transplant organization after the holiday season. (Source: Gregory Family)
We followed his journey from Christmas Day, and through his recovery. (Source: Gregory Family) We followed his journey from Christmas Day, and through his recovery. (Source: Gregory Family)
Thanks to Liam's superhero he can live up to his nickname for years to come. (Source: Gregory Family) Thanks to Liam's superhero he can live up to his nickname for years to come. (Source: Gregory Family)
POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) -

One year ago on December 25, 2015 we brought you a story about a 2-year-old Poplar Bluff boy who got a second chance at life – with a heart transplant on Christmas Day.

Last year a phone call on Christmas Eve changed Liam Gregory's life.

In September of 2015 Liam's parents thought he came down with a bug.

They took him to the hospital, and realized it was much more – he had an enlarged heart, and was fighting for his life.

We followed his journey from Christmas Day, and through his recovery.

His mother, Jessica Gregory, told us what it was like the moment they heard Liam was getting a new heart.

"I answered it and i recognized the voice as the lady from the transplant team. her name is Erin. and i said Erin? and she said you might get a Christmas present a little early, and I just broke down. I couldn't believe it," Gregory said.

That was last Christmas. 

Sherae Honeycutt and photojournalist Mike Mohundro caught up with Liam Gregory and his family on what a difference a year can make.

This year the Gregory's are celebrating Christmas at home. They say, it's a gift from a family they can never repay, but want them to know how much it means to them.

Nine months later it's a warm hello from Liam Gregory.

You'd never know he fought for his life to be here today.

"You don't understand how far this is from sitting in a hospital bed for six months just sitting still, and crying a lot, and being emotional, and being drugged up, and now he takes three medications in the morning," Jessica Gregory said.

His face is leaner. His body is stronger. His heart is beating.

"Liam has not once had any rejection. No signs of rejection," Gregory said.

Liam is walking.

"I teared up watching him just walk to our neighbor's house because I couldn't believe he could do that. He was all the sudden like – watch me mom! I can do this!," Gregory said.

He's talking, and even learning sign language.

His hurdles are still small, but his parents say they are accomplishments.

"He's got the mindset of about a one-and-a-half-year-old. So, he's not up to a three-year-old's status just yet, but to me – I feel like he's even better than he was before he got the transplant," Gregory said.

Jessica says his new heart was made to beat inside two bodies.

"It was a destiny, I guess is the word I'm looking for, because it's perfect. There's no problems. It doesn't beat too fast, too slow. It's not too big or too small. Everything about it so far has been perfect," Gregory said.

Not only did his new heart give Liam life, but love too.

"I hope that they can see their child in Liam. He'll take his arms and just wrap around my neck and squeeze as hard as he can, and before he wouldn't give anybody a kiss hardly. He just wants to hold me, and it's him holding me. Not me holding him. He'll just wrap his arms around my whole body and just keep kissing me over and over again," Gregory said.

A gift that The Gregory's want to say thank you for.

"There's a lot of things that we wanted to say, but it seemed like every time we got a pen and paper out it's just like – oh! What do we do?," said Liam's father, Laramy Gregory.

For months, they worked on a letter to their donor family.

All they know is that a toddler in the Minneapolis area lost their life, and because of that their son could live.

"They got the worst news on Christmas Eve, when I got the best news on Christmas Eve, and I still think of them, but I feel like they can at least know I saved at least one little boy's life," his mother said.

Their letter reads in part:

"I have played over and over in my mind what I'd want to say to you. Because of your decision to donate your loved ones organs our Liam is a happy, healthy, active, loveable, always smiling and blowing kisses three-year-old little boy. Please always know that every time we look at Liam as he is playing and laughing with his brothers, and as he successfully overcomes each milestone in his life we also see the love and compassion for life given from your loved one. Thank you for your selfless act of donating life."

A life that his father says is now limitless.

"To the moon. I mean, he can – he's going to do whatever he wants," Laramy said.

Thanks to Liam's superhero he can live up to his nickname for years to come.

"He showed us ten times that he is Superman. Any challenge that they've told us, that he wouldn't be able to walk, he wouldn't be able to do this – he's done it, and usually a lot faster than they said he would. He's Superman. He's always going to be," Laramy said.

The Gregory's plan to give the letter to the transplant organization after the holiday season.

If you'd like to hear The Gregory's full letter head over to Sherae Honeycutt's Facebook page where you can share their story, and wish Liam a Merry Christmas.

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