Family in need gets surprised with life-changing gift

Published: Jan. 16, 2018 at 4:50 PM EST
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When the Hickey family showed up to Valley Honda to renew a contract on a rental car, they got a tiny toy truck as a gift.

But it was what they didn't see initially that was the big surprise.

Valley Honda surprised the family with a car of their own: a 2008 Honda Fit.

Their daughter, Layla, was born with a heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. When her first heart transplant failed last year, she had to move to Charlottesville from her home in Pennsylvania to get a second transplant at UVA Medical Center.

"I did not want to break down, especially with her," said Kylie Gross, Layla's mother.

When Layla and her family moved into the community, word got around they didn't have a reliable car to get to and from the hospital.

When Valley Honda heard their story, they wanted to help.

"When there's a child in need, we gotta do something," said Scott Simons, general manager of Valley Honda. "We are very very blessed, very fortunate. Obviously the family is very excited, we're excited for them. They've got safe, reliable transportation to get these very important appointments for this child."

Gross said the outpouring of love and support she has received from the Valley leaves her speechless.

"Especially not being from here, just being welcomed so much by so many people," said Gross. "This community is amazing and they've done so much for us."

While this car will help Layla get to her doctors' appointments every week, Layla said she is excited her family can now go grocery shopping in their own car.

A small gift turned into something magical for a Valley family.