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Valley boy had a special bond with his great grandfather. Both died 1 week apart

Five-year-old Maddox survived a heart transplant at a young age and brought joy to everyone he met. He especially had a special bond with his great grandfather.

BUCKEYE, Ariz. — Take a visit to Maddox’s Miracle Facebook page you’ll find plenty of pictures of 5-year-old Maddox Reed’s glowing smile and a TikTok video of him dancing.

“Yeah, that’s him. Loved to dance. Loved to make people smile,” said Tyler Reed, Maddox's father.

“He made everyone feel special too. Who he came into contact with,” said Meghan Reed, his mother.

Maddox loved soccer and the outdoors – he was also a fighter. A survivor.

“He was born with half of a heart. His left ventricle did not develop all the way,” said Tyler Reed.

The first year of his life was rough with continuous health issues. Fortunately, he was able to get a heart transplant at Phoenix Children’s Hospital at only 1 ½ years old.

It improved his life dramatically and he could live the normal life his parents were hoping for.

Maddox was never afraid to show off his transplant scar at the local splash pads. He brought joy to everyone he met, especially his great grandfather Bob Worl, who lived with the family in hospice care.

“Something about him and Maddox. They just hit it off,” said Tyler. “(Maddox) would sneak an extra popsicle, he would bring two, into my grandfather’s bedroom. Then he would sit there and share a popsicle with my grandpa and then my grandpa would dispose of the evidence in his trash can.”

Bob called Maddox his "Little Toughy."

On May 19, the Reed family’s world was changed forever.

“(Maddox) Just woke up not feeling well,” Meghan recalled.

Maddox had just gotten a clean bill of health from his doctors. But then his heart gave out. 

“I’m going to miss the most just seeing his little eyes and how he trusted me with everything,” said Meghan. Maddox often engaged his mother in "who-loves-who-more" competitions.

“He taught us a lot. He taught us what love really meant. He taught us strength that we never knew we had,” said Tyler.

The whole family including four brothers is grieving Maddox's sudden passing. Even his great grandfather Bob, with who he had a special bond, was missing his “Little Toughy.”

Bob Worl passed away exactly one week after Maddox.

“My grandfather passed of a broken heart, and he wanted to be with his ‘Toughy’ again,” said Tyler. “We miss him. A lot. We have to be grateful for the time we did have. The blessing he was to us.”

There will be a service for Maddox on Saturday at 10:45 a.m. at Church for the Nations, 6225 North Central Avenue in Phoenix.

A fundraising account has been set up for Maddox’s family.

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