There are certain moments in your life that you know are significant. They’re instances when life has thrown something unexpected at you and it’s up to you to make an important decision. One that you know can change the course of your life forever.
A young college student living in Australia was faced with one of these life-altering decisions. Either he could be a stand-up guy or pretend like what was in front of his face wasn’t happening. What he did next was a defining moment that he’ll remember forever…
Student Living In Australia
Tommy, 23, was a regular guy living in Queensland, Australia. He attended school at the University of the Sunshine Coast, was an athlete, and also worked part-time as a real estate agent.
Excelled In Track
Despite being so busy, Tommy was the type of person who put his all into everything he did. He trained rigorously in track and hoped to one day compete internationally. He had already tackled the sport on a regional level, so he wasn’t too far off from his next goal. But something unexpected quite literally stopped him in his tracks…
Hearing From A Long Lost Relative
During college break, Tommy got a message from one of his favorite younger cousins. The last time he spoke to Kiarna, 16, was about 10 years ago when her family moved away to a town called Southport. The message came as a welcome surprise.
Tommy Loved His Cousin
“I was really excited to hear from her because I’ve always had a soft spot for her. She was my favorite little cousin, she was the sweetest girl and we got along so well,” Tommy said. Growing up, the two were close, so Tommy could tell by their first few messages that something was wrong…
She’d Fallen On Hard Times
As Kiarna shared updates in her life with Tommy, he learned things were pretty bad. Kiara was actually homeless, had no phone, and was surviving on less than one backpack full of clothes. Tommy wondered how a 16-year-old even wound up in this situation.
He couldn’t have been more in shock and according to Kiarna, a number of issues left her on the streets. In order to survive, she resorted to criminal activity and suffered many run-ins with the law as a result…
Resorted To Drugs
She also used drugs to cope with her life, but she told Tommy she had recently stopped. Still, her life was in jeopardy. Kiarna’s boyfriend was in jail, which left her scared and alone dealing with everything life has thrown at her. As a homeless teenager, she felt hopeless.
Doing The Best With The Cards She’s Being Dealt
“Life dealt Kiarna a poor hand, and she’s had to play it best she could…She’s spent more time on the streets than anywhere else, and knows the police better than she knows her own family,” Tommy wrote in a tearful Facebook post. However, her bad luck wasn’t going to last much longer…
Everything Was A Surprise To Tommy
Tommy had a plan as he couldn’t bear the thought of his favorite childhood cousin living on the streets and under such terrible circumstances. He also felt extremely guilty that he didn’t know about her situation sooner and even though she didn’t ask him for help, Tommy leaped into action.
He Didn’t Need To Be Asked To Help
“She didn’t ask me if she could stay with me but I had that day off work so I drove down to the Gold Coast straight away and picked her up. I took her to lunch and she told me her story,” Tommy wrote. Any problems he had seemed irrelevant after hearing Kiarna’s story and he offered for her to stay at his place…
Tommy Was All In
Although he was in college and working at the time, Tommy was determined to help his cousin get out of the rut that she was in. In fact, he was determined to save Kiarna’s life. Instead of just supporting her from a distance or trying to find a shelter that would accept her, Tommy wasn’t afraid of a little personal sacrifice.
The Only Option
His plan was to gain permanent custody of Kiarna and become her legal guardian. This was the only way he could ensure that she’d be protected and that he could provide her the support she so desperately needed. But in gaining custody, he hit a road bump…
Afraid Of Tommy’s Reaction
Kiarna had kept a secret from Tommy that she was hesitant to share. Before her boyfriend became incarcerated, Kiarna got pregnant and she was afraid to tell Tommy she was expecting, fearing he’d kick her out.
Kiarna Being Pregnant Didn’t Change Anything For Tommy
Yet, despite her hesitation in telling him, Tommy didn’t seem to care because again, he wanted to help make his cousin’s life better going forward. He knew what this would mean, however, that on paper, he would literally become not just a father but also a grandfather…
Fearing For Her Baby
At 23-years-old, this was a lot to take on, but he was ready for it. It disappointed him however when Kiarna told him that child services had been following her around for months and they had informed her that they’d take her child away from her after it was born.
The Future Was Uncertain
It was a terrifying fear that lingered inside of Kiarna every day of her pregnancy. She said, “Since carrying this gorgeous boy, all of my friends kept telling me that he would be taken away from me. This made my pregnancy very difficult. All I wanted was to give this little man a better life than I had, a second chance was all I wanted.” But in order for this to happen, Kiarna had a lot of work to do and it was a race against the clock for Tommy…
Becoming Kiarna’s Legal Guardian
As a result, he had to stop training for his track competitions and put his all into everything he had into becoming the legal guardian for Kiarna. This included working, moving houses, signing forms, being assessed and monitored, chasing funds, setting up bank accounts, buying baby stuff, furniture, and going to various doctors appointments, all for Kiarna.
New Milestones And A Birth
Tommy taught her to read and write and thanks to him, she was able to pass her driver’s test and receive her learners permit. This was just in time for her due date, which was right around the corner. Just around two months after Tommy became her legal guardian, Kiarna gave birth…
The Youngest Grandfather In The World
She named her baby boy Kayden and Tommy, at 23 years old, became the youngest grandfather in the world. Family members, friends, and peers had a lot to say about their unique situation. Most people on social media, however, have been very kind to Tommy, and they’ve commended him for the selfless act he did for his family member.
Family Is Everything
Tommy wrote on Facebook, “When bad things happen it’s your family that supports you…It means no one gets left behind or forgotten. I’ve had my family pull my head out of the gutter before…It was time to pay it forward. After Jayden’s birth, Tommy continued to help out his cousin and he’s since started his own real estate company called UN Real Estate. Kiarna and Jayden are also doing well.