WEST HAVEN, Conn. (NewsNation) — A first-time father and fiancee living in Connecticut are searching the country to find a kidney donor.
Yannick Napier remembers taking his son to the beach for the very first time — a son that came as a surprise to this doting dad whose days were marked by treatments.
“Having my own [child] wasn’t really in the picture until lo and behold, a year and six months ago,” he laughs.
“We had our miracle boy,” adds Napier’s fiancee, Katelyn Hickman.
Marley’s birth gave the couple new purpose, causing them to go public in an effort to save this young dad’s life.
Hickman recently wrote an emotional post on Facebook:
“Yannick is our protector, our guiding light, our power of positivity in this scary, crazy world! Marley and I need him more than he knows so it’s time I swallow my pride and reach out to you. I’m posting to ask if you’ve ever considered being an organ donor and are a healthy individual, please consider donating a kidney to our guy! He remains in end-stage renal disease until he gets a kidney transplant…”
Napier was born in Jamaica and has struggled with a rare condition involving his urethral valves his entire life.
He received a kidney transplant in 2007 but his body rejected it. He’s been in failure for the last eight years.
“Finding me a second transplant is going to be beyond a needle in a hay stack right now,” he said.
“He melts my heart; he has since we met the day in high school,” said Hickman.
A long history makes this couple’s bond strong, and now, Marley has made them a family.
“I need to be there for both of them as their protector, their rock, everything they need,” says Napier.
So, as the couple deals with home treatments — which take four hours, four times a week — they search for a donor.
The Facebook post was shared hundreds of times and even reached New Zealand.
“We’re going worldwide which is beyond amazing,” says Hickman.
After all, they experienced a miracle once and know another one is possible.
“I’m a big believer in karma,” says Napier. “You reap what you sow, so it’s coming somewhere it’s coming somewhere, timing is everything and it’s coming,” says Napier.
More information about the family can be found on their GoFundMe page.
NewsNation affiliate WTNH contributed to this report.