Family Life

23-year-old college student takes on the role of dad AND granddad on the same day

Tommy Connolly is a 23-year-old student from Australia who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The student athlete has just reconnected with his 16-year-old cousin who he hasn’t seen in over 10 years.

Tommy’s cousin requested to be his friend on Facebook wanting to catch-up, but she never expected him to reach out in the most beautiful way possible.

Falling pregnant and having nowhere to go, Tommy took her in, bump and all, no questions asked.


A post shared by Tommy Connolly (@tommy.connolly) on

When he met her for the first time she was 32-weeks along, all she had was a small backpack, hardly any clothes, no money, no possessions and was completely illiterate.

Working full-time during the summer months the 23-year-old saved enough money to acquire a home, clothes and baby supplies for the pair.

The teenager gave birth to a healthy baby boy weeks later, and Tommy is now helping her to raise him while continuing with his studies and also teaching the new mum to read and write.

Studying for a degree, athletics training, working part-time, caring for a teenager and four-week-old baby is a HUGE responsibility for someone of his age, but Tommy has taken it all in his stride.

However, his brother Liam, knowing Tommy and his cousin deserve the best, set up a GoFundMe page to help release some of the financial burden on the new family, raising almost $50K.

With an outpouring of support for the incredible story online, Liam shared: "The response to Tommy's story and the overwhelming support from around the world has been incredible."

"Sometimes something innocent can turn into beautiful, sometimes something small can become something big and often when we do things to help the people we care about we can find that something selfless can become something sensational."

Adding: "This is certainly what Tommy has brought to the world…"

But the amazingly caring brothers have also done something special for others too; many people face the same situation as their cousin each year, so the boys have come up with another wonderful gesture.

Having received hundreds of messages from people wanting to donate clothes and baby items, the students are hoping to connect everyone who wish to provide these items with other young girls who also need help and support, sharing: 

"We will be collaborating with a third party to do this in an organised way where we can hopefully assist as many young girls as possible who need it or who may feel alone, scared or doing it tough. It doesn't have to be this way and please know that there are people equally as awesome as Tommy who can help."

Such an inspirational story, and well done to Tommy for doing his best, what a hero. 

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