After her two-year-old son passed away in a drowning accident, Brooke Eaton had the heart-wrenching opportunity to hear his heartbeat again when she met 16-month-old Lola Bond. Lola was the recipient of her son’s heart after his organs were donated.
Eaton’s son, Cazimirr’s “Cash” Lander, drowned in a pool last summer, and the family made the decision to donate his organs.
Though Lola received the heart last September, Eaton met her for the first time recently. “As soon as I walked in the room, it was very overwhelming,” Eaton told CNN. “I saw her, and I just broke down and cried…I could feel my son. His heartbeat was so pure.”
In the emotional video that captured the moment Eaton met Lola, she used a stethoscope to hear Lola’s heartbeat as tears are in her eyes.
“As soon as I saw her, I fell in love with her. She’s just precious,” she told WCCO. “To have a connection with your baby still, just like me and Lola. We’re gonna have a connection the rest of our life.”
Lola was born with cardiomyopathy, which typically enlarges the heart. At just 16 days old, it was clear she would need a transplant to survive. After the transplant, Lola is expected to make a full recovery, though she will need to take anti-rejection medication and will most likely need another heart transplant later in life.
Eaton also brought her daughter, Cierra, 4, on the trip. The single mom traveled from Illinois to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital to meet Lola.
In addition to Lola, Cash’s organs helped save three other children.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.