Iowa family touched by the power of organ donation

How a heart and a song connected two families

By Alice

Published 05/29 2015 09:06PM

Updated 05/29 2015 09:21PM

One Iowa family is celebrating the life of their young son thanks to the generosity of another. The decision to be an organ donor after a tragic loss can be difficult, but one family has managed to create a very special bond through that decision.

"You think your family is complete you have everything you want to have come crashing down all around you is very difficult, I mean it's every parent's worst nightmare,” said Holly Campbell, who donated her son’s organ.

Holly and Andy Campbell's son Jake suddenly passed at 11-weeks-old and they knew they had a tough decision to make.

“There was nothing good that could come from losing a child unless we gave this gift. It made Jake a hero and it gave us something to look forward to, something positive to hold onto in a really dark time,” said Campbell.

That gift of life went to two-week-old Beckham. A boy that they've never met and lived hundreds of miles away. Thanks to the Campbell's decision Beckham is now a healthy 7-year-old. But it's not just a heart that connects the two families.

This song from the musical “Wicked” also bonds the boys.

Both mothers sang it to their sons when they were sick.

On Friday, the two families reunited at the University of Iowa Hospitals to sing that song, for the first time together, remembering baby Jake's precious life and celebrating the life of Beckham.

“I knew this song suited everything because there's a line that says, basically after you say goodbye you’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart. That's how I feel about Jake. He will never really leave me. He will always be there. It was like the perfect way to say goodbye,” said Campbell.

The song was the same song. The last song the heart heard in baby Jake and the first song the heart heard in baby Beckham.

“It kind of blew us both away. When she told me i was like you're kidding that was the song? You sang? And when I realized that was the first song I sang I just thought, oh that heart really wanted to hear that song,” said Kim Scadlock, parent of son who received heart.

Both families say the gift of organ donation helped heal one broken heart and created a miracle for another family. The Campbell and Scadlock families say they will continue to be a part of each other's lives: Every beat of the way. 

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