Daniel McCabe is just 5 months old, but he's been fighting a rare liver disorder since he was born. On Dec. 13, things had become so dire that doctors placed him on the waiting list for a new liver and prepared to wait weeks, if not months, with his life in the balance. As it turns out, they waited less than an hour, reports NBC Chicago. Daniel went on the list at 10:15am, and at 10:55am, a doctor received the good news and walked into his room at Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital to inform his mom. "I was just speechless," recounted Melody McCabe, per Fox 6 News. With good reason: The average wait for a liver is 149 days for adults and 86 days for kids. The infant from Waukesha, Wisconsin, had successful surgery the following evening is now recuperating.
“It’s one in a million, you know," surgeon Riccardo Superina tells the Chicago Sun-Times. "I can’t ever remember having something like this happen. We were prepared to wait a few months—in fact at one point I think the plan was to evaluate one of the parents for donations.” Only about 40 people have gotten a match in 40 minutes or less over the last five years. Not much is known about the donor in this case, other than he was a male in his 30s. One footnote: His liver was split in two and thus saved the lives of two patients. Daniel's parents expressed sorrow for the donor's family as well as profound thanks. "This is a Christmas we'll never forget," says dad Daniel McCabe. (Apple's Tim Cook offered Steve Jobs part of his liver.)