A brave little boy from Oildale who had a heart transplant, has made a big impact on a Bakersfield girl. The fifth grader is now encouraging people to learn about organ donation.
6-year-old Caleb Morgan and 10-year-old Mariah Andriano don't go to the same school. They were strangers, until Mariah was inspired by Caleb's story of survival on 17 News.
Four months ago, 17 News followed Caleb for his first day of kindergarten at Valley Elementary. His mother, Kristin Morgan, said it was a day she thought she might never see.
When Caleb was a baby, he lived with a rare, life-threatening heart condition that required a heart transplant. Kristin Morgan explained what doctors told her, four years ago. "We don't really know how much time Caleb has, and we don't know if he'll receive a transplant in time," she said.
Caleb received his transplant when he was one and a half. He now leads a normal life.
"He runs, he plays, he has friends. He is always jumping off of things. It's a complete 180 now," said Morgan.
As 17 News followed Caleb for his first day of school in August, Nichole Andriano was watching 17 News with her daughter, 10-year old Mariah.
"She came to me and was like hmm, okay. I was like, what is she talking about? She was talking to herself and saying that's a very good idea," said Nichole Andriano.
Her idea was to share Caleb's story with her friends at Thorner Elementary.
On Tuesday, Mariah and Caleb met for the first time. As part of a history project, Mariah will talk to her fifth grade classmates on Friday about organ and tissue donation.
"People should be more donors because you can change thousands of peoples lives," said Mariah.
Kristin Morgan now considers each day with her little boy not just a milestone, but a miracle.
"That just touches me so deeply. It's something that's so convicting to me because so many of us will see something on the news and think 'wow.' We might share it on Facebook, but Mariah's actually taken the next step and that's absolutely amazing to me," she said.