Growing up, many kids have a stuffed animal they cling to when things get hard.
But six-year-old Keifer McConnell has been clutching his stuffie named Lammie for reasons most children don't have to experience.
"Lammie has been with our little dude since he had surgery when he was 4.5 months old," said mom Melissa McConnell. The toy was a gift from Keifer's hospital roommate.
McConnell was born with Trisomy 4P, a rare genetic disorder that affects around 100 children worldwide. The condition can cause a multitude of health problems from seizures to developmental delays. For McConnell, it means a heart defect.
On Thursday, Keifer and his family were on their way to Kansas to meet other families whose children also have Trisomy 4P. Lammie was packed in Keifer's bag at the Seattle airport as usual, but he never made it on the plane.
"Keifer took it out of his bag [waiting at the gate], and I didn't know," McConnell told HuffPost B.C. "We got on the plane, and it was gone."
The family, who live in Victoria, B.C., immediately phoned the airport's lost-and-found, but no luck.
"He's so sad. He keeps asking me if Lammie's ever going to come home — if we're ever going to see him again," McConnell said on the phone from Kansas.
Desperate to find Lammie, McConnell posted a photo of the pair on her Facebook page on Thursday afternoon, asking people to spread the word.
Just hours later, friends who were also flying out of Seattle to Kansas traced the McConnells' steps through two gates and the food court — and found him.
"Keifer cried when I told him Lammie had been found and was on his way 'home' to him," McConnell said. "Because home for Lammie is wherever Keifer is."
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