Heartache and Hope: Giving Life through Tragedy
Another sad story has been crossing our newsfeed. When a child dies, it strikes a cord in all of us. It is a hard realization to make when you hear of such tragedy. A grieving family in Missouri, is mourning the loss of their four month old son, Gannon. He was born six weeks too early, and weighed in at just three pounds. He spent time in the NICU before going home, but seemed to be healthy and typical from that point on. Ms. Koehler, Gannon's mother, sensed something was wrong when Gannon didn't wake crying in his room one morning. At 9:30am, she walked in to find Gannon unresponsive. She prayed for a miracle as he was transferred to the Children's Hospital. Gannon had a significant loss of oxygen which caused him to lose all brain function. At this point, a decision needed to be made. Both Gannon's mother and father decided to use this tragedy to help - by donating their child's organs. "Anything that was working in him we wanted to go to someone else," Ms. Koehler said. "To give somebody else an opportunity of living because no parent should have to worry about losing their baby." There is no way to understand the grief of this family. Losing a child so young, but deciding to donate his functioning organs has made a huge difference in others' lives. Less than 15% of organ donors (in 2015) were under the age of 18, and often recipients spend months or years waiting for a match. Gannon's organs were much needed. What a great gift Gannon was given. Gannon's parents got a letter telling them he provided that match for a five month old who got his liver, a 58 year old man who received his kidneys and a two month old boy who needed his heart. "It helps, knowing our baby's heart is still beating," said Ms. Koehler. Here at My Baby's Heartbeat Bear, we are hoping to reach the family of the heart recipient. We would love to create a tangible and audible memory of Gannon's heart beating away, giving life to another child. To read the original story, click HERE.