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When a mom in ER with a sick baby needed coffee, 'internet friends' helped

Jaiden Cowley, whose daughter was born with a congenital heart defect, was overwhelmed by the "sheer generosity" of strangers.
/ Source: TODAY

Jaiden Cowley mostly lurks on the Mom Squad Facebook page. But on Friday night, the 21-year-old single parent from Hamilton, Ontario stepped out of the shadows.

“Is anyone at sickkids right now?” Cowley wrote. “I have a huge favor to ask. I’m in the er and I can’t leave my daughter alone, but I really need a coffee.” She illustrated her post with a picture of her 18-month-old daughter, Amira, who has been waiting 400 days for a heart transplant.

“I’m not far,” a woman named Elizabeth responded. “What do you want?”

Jaiden Cowley and her daughter, Amira.Courtesy of Jaiden Cowley

Cowley was floored by how many people wanted to help a stranger at 11 p.m. “I was thinking maybe someone in the building would read my message,” she told TODAY Parents. “I never expected someone to get in their car and drive to me.”

But 30 minutes later, Elizabeth arrived at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, also known as SickKids, armed with a Starbucks Venti iced coffee. Cowley was overwhelmed.

“It meant so much to me,” Cowley said, noting that she relocated to Toronto for Amira’s medical care and does not have family nearby.

"As Elizabeth was leaving, she said, 'I'm so glad I could do this for you and let me know if you need anything else,'" Cowley recalled.

A Mom Squad member named Elizabeth answered Jaiden Cowley's late night plea for iced coffee. Courtesy of Jaiden Cowley

Another mother who read the post contacted Cowley to ask for her email. “She sent me $50 to buy coffee,” Cowley told TODAY Parents. “It was such a nice gesture that I started crying.”

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Cowley praised Elizabeth’s “sheer generosity” on Mom Squad the following day. She also shared the heartbreaking news that Amira, who was born with congenital heart disease, has been suffering from “many complications.”

Hundreds of women replied with prayers and words of encouragement. “Big hugs mama. If you need anything pls reach out,” wrote one person. Added another, “What hospital are you at? I’m a mama of a heart warrior too. Would love to send you something.”

Amira, who is 18 months old, has had three open-heart surgeries.Courtesy of Jaiden Cowley

Cowley is grateful for the support. “Going through this as a single mom has been a lot. It’s exhausting,” she said. “But now I don’t feel so alone.”