Mother Hears Her Son’s Heartbeat Again After Transplant Saves Girl’s Life
Brooke Eaton said she broke down and cried as soon as she walked into a hospital room to meet 16-month old Lola Bond, the recipient of her late son’s heart. She then held Lola, listened through a stethoscope, and sighed deeply.
“I could feel my son,” she said. “His heartbeat was so pure.”
Cazmirr “Cash” Landers was 2 years old when he drowned in a pool last year. Eaton said he was outgoing, liked to ride his tricycle, and was fond of sharing things. Now his legacy lives on, as she hoped it would when she decided to donate his organs.
“He loved to share, so part of his life and giving some of it to Lola and other children is part of who he was,” Eaton said.
Lola has a rare heart condition called Pediatric Cardiomyopathy. The disease results in impaired ability of the heart to pump blood and can be life-threatening. At 16 days old, doctors told her family that her heart was not pumping enough blood to meet her body’s needs, and she would need a heart transplant.
“There’s no doubt we wouldn’t have her alive if it wasn’t for the miracle that we received in this heart,” Lola’s grandmother, Margaret Bond Vorel said. On a Facebook page called Lola’s Rockstars, Vorel updates followers on Lola’s health. After meeting Eaton, Vorel posted an update thanking Eaton “for the greatest action of love.”
Lola received her life-saving heart transplant when she was 5 months old, September 2018. Vorel could hardly believe the news. She was also thinking about Eaton and her tragic loss of Cash.
When Vorel and Eaton met at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, the two women bonded. Video shows that as Eaton listened to Cash’s heart beating inside of Lola, at first she smiled. Then she looked sad. Vorel put her hand on her knee to comfort her.
Eaton and Lola also bonded. Vorel said, “The moment Brooke held her, Lola just melted into her chest.”
“Knowing that there’s a whole other family out there that loves [Lola] as much as we do is amazing,” Vorel said in an interview.
The two families plan to meet this year for the holidays.
“We’re going to have a connection the rest of our lives,” Eaton said.