In 2016, Ian and Halley McDonald experienced the most difficult thing that parents can experience -- the death of their baby. Through this tragedy, it has become their mission to put smiles on the faces of children during the holidays. To honor their son’s legacy, they started Cody’s Crusade, a toy drive that focuses on donating toys to children in the hospital during the holiday season. On December 21, Cody's Crusade donated gifts to St. Vincent Healthcare's pediatric unit for the fifth consecutive year.
When Halley and Ian noticed that their son, Cody, was not eating, had a high fever and was not waking up one morning, they knew he needed immediate care. After a visit with their pediatrician, Cody was admitted to St. Vincent Healthcare with suspicions that he may have been overly dehydrated. After a review from a pediatric intensivist, it was quickly identified that he was not dehydrated, but instead, had a severe case of meningitis. His condition was so serious that he was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
After a few days of care, his condition did not show signs of improving. Following an MRI, Cody's scan showed devastating results for his family; Cody was braindead. Despite the unimaginable grief and heartache that his family felt, Cody's family made a plan to donate his organs and create a lasting legacy for him.
For three days, Cody was on life support, allowing Halley and Ian enough time to find donors and for St. Vincent's surgeons to develop a plan to procure the organs.
"In that time, the staff at St. V's treated Cody like he was going to make it," said Halley McDonald. "They gave him so much love and care."
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