The Gift of 30 Years

July 14, 2022

One day before he turned seven months old, Jonathan Laird was given 24 hours to live. His parents, James and Alma, were at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha praying for a miracle for their baby boy, who was dealing with neonatal hepatitis. 

The next morning, that miracle came in the form of a family donating their one-year-old’s organs after their child suffered a brain aneurysm. 

On June 13, 2022, Jonathan and his family celebrated his 30th year with his liver. While some recipients live 30+ years with their new liver, the average life expectancy of a liver recipient is 10 years.

“Every year is another milestone. Getting your first job or graduating college, moving off was a big moment. There are certain times you’re just driving off and it hits you,” said Laird, a Brookhaven native, who now lives in Rankin County selling cars and otherwise being a normal 30-year-old—one with an incredible story to share about his Gift of Life from an incredibly selfless family. “To go from 24 hours to 30 years that is a huge milestone,” Jonathan added with the emphasis on huge

Jonathan and his family have longed to meet the donor family but have not heard back from them as of yet. It is unknown if they ever will. All that is known is that they were from Western Nebraska at the time of their tragedy. So we asked Jonathan what he’d like to say to them given the chance to meet them or speak directly to them. His response, “Thank you is not enough. You’ve allowed me to live 30 years of the best life possible and here is to 30 more.” 

Organ donors can save the lives of 8 others, while tissue and eye donors can help heal the lives of 75+ others. Join the over one million Mississippians on the national donor registry at 

Pictured above: James Laird, Jonathan Laird & Alma Laird, who recently celebrated Jonathan’s 30th anniversary of his liver transplant on June 13, 2022.