CONOVER, NC (WBTV) - 16-year-old Kilby Davis in Conover has one heck of a fantastic story. Her smile is why organ donation is important.
Mom Kim is kissing her on the right. Dad Trent -- a deputy sheriff in Catawba County -- is kissing her on the left.
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In 2013 Kilby was diagnosed with an enlarged heart muscle. Further testing showed she also had a rare genetic condition usually found in boys called Danon's Disease. Since then, Kilby had been on a wait list for a new heart.
Suddenly on August 23rd, at 2:30pm, mom Kim was at Valley Hills Mall in Hickory when she got a call.
She only heard four words:
"We have a heart."
The family said they'd planned for this moment, if it'd happen. They'd be calm and ready. Kim was neither of those things.
"I WAS CRAZY!! I was crying, running, dodging people, trying to get my car," she said. "By that night I was doing one of the scariest things ever - hand over my precious daughter to a team of doctors, not knowing what the next few hours would hold. She's my only Kilby. I can't imagine my world without her."
Hours later the heart had been "harvested". Meaning, it was en-route on a jet. Trent and Kim prayed for it to be the Hero heart to make their daughter well.
Important to point out that while they were hoping this heart would save their daughter, somewhere else in America a family was in the exact opposite situation.
Two hours after that call, the new heart was being stitched in Kilby.
"We sat in the hospital praying it would beat," said Kim. "That's what doctors always warned us about. You can get to this point and the new organ not work. You just don't know until you try."
After a little blood flow and warmth -- NO OTHER INTERVENTION NEEDED -- the heart started beating inside Kilby.
"As her mother, I can only describe it as a miracle," said Kim. "Even doctors say it surpassed their expectations."
Eight hours later Kilby was stable enough for her parents to see her. She was still on a ventilator. Eight hours after that, she woke up. All of this within 30 hours of Kim getting that call in the mall.
Three weeks later Kilby is only getting stronger. Sassier. Determined. Kim says her new heart is functioning at an unbelievable level. Doctors are positive.
There are still side effects from the many medicines, but she's alive and recovering.
See? One heck of a story.
"Becoming an organ donor is beyond important," said Kim. "I never thought about it myself until I was in a situation firsthand watching my child's life deteriorate and fade."
Congrats, Kilby. You're beautiful.