TNA & Jeff Hardy help young patient battle back

Caleb & his hero Jeff Hardy

Caleb & his hero Jeff Hardy

The following is an article from the The Charleston Post Courier and relates to events at a recent house show in Carolina. A 12-year-old heart patient who has overcome overwhelming odds shared the spotlight Sunday with the hero who gave him strength to keep fighting – Jeff Hardy, as well as other TNA talent. You can read the full article below, well done to TNA, Jeff Hardy and the rest of the crew for making this young boy’s dreams come true.

The following courtesy of The Charleston Post Courier, you can view the original article here. Caleb Kennedy of Greenville, who just underwent his third major heart surgery two weeks ago, was the guest of honor at a Total Non-Stop Action wrestling show at Blackbaud Stadium. He shared the ring with Jeff Hardy, a wrestler known for his daring acrobatics — and now for this special matchup with Caleb.“This is his dream come true,” Caleb’s mother, Sonya Kennedy, said.

Brandishing Hardy’s trademark blue face paint and black lipstick (personally applied by Hardy before the show), Caleb paced the ring with Hardy, showing off their warrior poses together, as a couple thousand fans cheered.

Total Non-Stop Action President Dixie Carter set it up. She heard about Caleb’s struggles and his passion for wrestling through mutual friends and was moved by his story. She sent him a package in the hospital and promised that if he fought his way back to strength, she would let him share the spotlight with Jeff Hardy.

“This little boy is so brave,” Carter told Mike Mooneyham, the newspaper’s wrestling columnist, before the show. “He was having a very hard time through surgery. He was in such tremendous pain, and they told him about Jeff Hardy. That’s what got him to sit up and walk for the first time. It truly is the power of wrestling.”

When Caleb was 20 weeks old in the womb, tests showed he had a severely defective heart. He was missing the right ventricle. His mother said the doctor sent her home with literature explaining her options, including abortion.

“After two weeks of lots of tears, we decided that was not the route we would take,” Sonya Kennedy said. “We would let God decide when he wanted to call Caleb home.”

When Caleb was born, doctors found he also didn’t have a vascular connection between his heart and colon, and he lost 90 percent of his colon.

“They said he wouldn’t make it,” his mother said.

He had his first surgery at the Medical University when he was 2 days old. Doctors gave him a 3 percent chance to make it through the night, she said.

He spent almost all his first year at the hospital. After a series of blood infections, doctors gave him a one-in-a-million chance of surviving and advised the parents to take him off the machines, according to his mother.

“The good Lord gave us the strength,” Kennedy said. “Here we are 12 years later.”

Caleb also has a bad lung. The recent heart surgery was a risky procedure to try to improve blood flow and lung function. Doctors said they wouldn’t know how well it worked for a couple of months, but his mother said she already can see the difference.

Ideally, Caleb needs both a heart and lung transplant, but doctors have considered it too risky so far, his mother said.

“This (latest) surgery may change our options,” she said. “This will buy us some time.”


About Ray Mullan
Ray Mullan is a longtime wrestling fan and Owner/Editor of TNA UK . Also a contributing writer to a number of other online wrestling media including, Wrestle Zone UK & Lords of Pain.

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