Watch CBS News

Heart Donor And Recipient Families Meet In Tearful Reunion

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Anxiety and fears ended the moment two strong families met.

"I walked into the room and broke down and immediately cried," says Brooke Eaton.

For the very first time since she said goodbye to her two-year-old son Cash, Brooke Eaton heard his strong heartbeat. She heard it in the chest of another child, a little girl whose life he saved.

Cazmirr "Cash" Landers was an energetic and happy Illinois boy who loved trains and time with family. Tragically, Cash drowned in a swimming pool accident late last summer.

Lola Bond was born with a faulty heart caused by a condition known as cardiomyopathy.

When tragedy struck in Illinois, Brooke Eaton's unselfish decision to make the "Gift of Hope" became Lola's medical miracle.

Doctors and nurses at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital wrapped the living present up with a bow.

Critical care physician, Dr. Ashley Loomis helped care for Lola, and explains, "to see a reunion like this today is just amazing - it brings tears to your eyes."

For the first time since the heart transplant, the two families met privately. Afterwards, they spoke of how one child's life spared four others, including Lola's.

"As soon as I saw her I fell in love with her. She's just precious and that's also my boy. I heard his heartbeat, that's really beautiful," added Eaton.

By cuddling little Lola, Brooke can feel her son once again. For two families brought together out of utter heartbreak, now grows an unbreakable bond.

"To have a connection with my baby still, like with me and Lola, we're going to have a connection the rest of our lives," explained Eaton.

Lola's grandmother, Margaret Bond Vorel adds, "knowing that there's a whole other family that loves her as we do is amazing!"

What's been forged from sorrow, now brings the sound of joy.

Listening with a stethoscope placed onto Lola's chest, a mother's sad loss is softened by the strong and steady heartbeat of her son.

For more information on becoming an organ donor click here.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.