Sometimes we are lucky enough to meet a real life angel at exactly the right time in our life.
For a little girl called Skye, her angel is a woman called Hayden Ryals. From now on, these two ladies will share a bond that will tie them to each other for the rest of their lives.
When Skye was less than 12 months old, she was diagnosed with leukemia, a rare and aggressive form of blood cancer, and needed a bone-marrow transplant.
Certainly, when someone is affected by cancer, it’s heartbreaking for all involved, but it’s particularly awful when a child has to battle it.
Everything began when Skye’s parents noticed bruises on their little girl. They were worried and took her to the doctor several times for help. After several visits and tests, Skye was diagnosed with with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.
Understandably, her parents found it very hard to accept this cruel injustice and began to do everything in their power to help their daughter. However, they had no idea that a woman named Hayden would soon come into their lives and change it forever.
Meanwhile, as Skye received treatment in California, Hayden, who lived in Alabama, went to college. Unsure of her future, Hayden struggled to find her purpose in life.
That’s when she read about becoming a bone marrow donor, through an organization called Be The Match. Hayden registered herself as a bone-marrow donor in 2015.
Long road to recovery
It didn’t take long before Hayden got the call that she was a match for an anonymous 1-year-old girl (Skye) miles away from her home.
Hayden donated enough bone marrow for two procedures and Skye began the long road to recovery which involved removing her spleen and two bone marrow transplants.
The two parties stayed in touch but never met in person. Hayden always said that everyone thought it was her who saved Skye but she says: “It has always been the other way around. She helped me. She saved me. … She’s the real hero.”
But Skye’s father would never underestimate what Hayden did for his precious baby girl. “If Hayden hadn’t donated her bone marrow, our daughter would not have made it [to] her other donation. She got us to a place where we could survive this,” he told the Washington Post.
Hayden wanted to invite the family to her wedding and sent a special gift to Skye for her third birthday: an Elsa doll from the movie “Frozen,” a Poppy blanket from “Trolls” and an invitation to her wedding.
But in the invitation there was also another gift. Hayden asked Skye to be her flower girl.
“I said I wanted them to know how much I love them and how much they’re wanted,” Hayden told the Washington Post.
On the day before the wedding, Hayden finally got the chance to meet Skye – and the moment they saw each other for the first time was very emotional for Hayden. She walked over to Skye, she said, and fell to her knees.
The next day, Skye went to church first and threw flower petals along the way to the altar. Then she sat at the front of the church and waited.
Adrian Ryals, Hayden’s future husband, carried a bouquet and a gold locket from Skye and her parents. On the inside was a picture of Skye, with the text: “This heart beats with yours.”
Thank you to amazing people like Hayden and brave Skye! Below you can see a video of their wonderful first meeting.
Becoming a donor can really be the difference between life and death. Hayden is a true role model and proof that we can all do something to help our fellow human beings.
Please share this heart-warming story on Facebook to pay tribute to Hayden’s selfless efforts that helped save the life of little Skye.