Thursday, June 21, 2012

Annual Heart Present

As many of you know when we received Landen's life-saving gift two years ago on Mother's Day, our donor family also sent another gift, a stuffed lamb. Our donor family's dad, Troy, did not know at the time that Landen's middle name was Lion and that he from birth had a stuffed lion in his bed. He said he saw the stuffed lamb in his little girl's bed and the thought came to his mind to send it along with the other most precious gift, a new heart for our son. This gift has given us comfort both on the day we received it and everyday since. Our beautiful little donor was a 5 month old baby girl named Claire. Her and her 5 year old brother Carson passed away as a result of a car accident. Between these two amazing kids they were able to save 10 people. Troy said in his first letter to us, that his son, Carson, was able to be the superhero he always thought himself to be. These two beautiful kids are superheroes and we love them and their family dearly. We continue to have and will always have a picture of Claire and Carson and the lamb and the lion as a memory of this life-saving gift. Each year on our heart anniversary, May 9th, the kids make a build-a-bear stuffed animal and give it to someone who is in need of comfort in memory of Claire and Carson. This year the kids made a bear for a baby in England. We had meet this family over the internet on our LEOPARD syndrome facebook page. There little boy, Owen, had the same heart condition as a result of LEOPARD syndrome. At 8 months old,Owen who was clinically well, had a sudden cardiac arrest at home. He was resuscitated but he had a downtime of 33 minutes and has suffered considerably. Owen was not suppose to live through the evening, but this amazingly strong little boy fought for 8 weeks. This story hit close to home because of the similarities between Owen and Landen. Also, Owen's birthday is the same day that Landen was given a second chance at life. Before his passing we sent both him and his older brother a build-a-bear. Owen's parents are amazing. They have been an example of strength for my husband and I. They enjoyed every moment they had with their strong little boy. I am so glad that Landen has came to our family for many reasons. One of the gifts we received since we had Landen was the opportunity to meet such amazing kids and their parents. The kids that I have had the opportunity to meet or at least hear about have unbeleiveable strength and courage. I think they should all have "LION" as their middle names because of their fighting spirit. Thank you both the DeJoode family for giving us these last 2 years with our son that we would never have had. And also thank you to the Zander and Anna Sen. We admire your strength and courage through your trials.


  1. Beautiful. So many strong, amazing families.

  2. What a sweet sweet gift on all sides. So glad Landen is still here with you. <3