NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It is a lifesaving miracle, that’s delivered in loss. And yet, for Juan and Rebeca Flores, it was unexpected comfort to see and meet those whose lives were saved through their sorrow.
“It’s very unbelievable not to have your loved one, but at the same time, do have them,” says Rebeca Flores, through a translator, wiping away tears. Their 19-year-old son, Esaul, died last year and they made the generous decision to donate his healthy organs.
So five families gathered at the Southwest Transplant Alliance headquarters in Dallas– anxious, emotional–and eager to say ‘thank you’.
Among them, a 7-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, given the chance to grow up. And Veronica Rogers-Campbell of Richardson, a mother who will get the chance to grow old. She received Esaul’s heart.
“I am forever grateful,” she whispered while kissing his parents’ hands, and wiping away tears of her own. She says prior to the transplant, she was “living on batteries, plugging into electricity when I go to sleep. Hoping the electricity doesn’t go out and I hear the alarm go off. Get up, switch batteries again, I mean I’ve been shocked by defibrillator, had 8 surgeries, two open heart,” says Rogers-Campbell. And now her life has returned to normalcy. “It was truly a miracle, because the next day, I felt better.”
The cost of her recovery, though, not lost on her or her family. She says she was nervous before meeting the Flores family because she wanted them to be glad that they had given her their son’s heart. Then, the family shared a story that threatened to break it, all over again.
“In the video that he left us, saying his goodbyes, he said he was gonna take us in his heart,” the translator relayed, “and you have his heart.”
The words bringing a fresh round of tears. Esaul died by suicide after struggling with the loss of a beloved older brother in a car accident a year earlier.
“I’m a parent myself, I can’t imagine what you are going through,” says Lydius Campbell, Veronica’s husband, struggling to both speak and breath as he fought back tears. “But, just to tell you, we will continue to pray for you. We will honor your kid for you. Thank you. Thank you.”
“God has given me big shoes, and a big task to fill,” said Rogers-Campbell who said she was humbled by the gift. “He said he’ll always carry you in his heart… and now, I’m carrying you,” added Rogers-Campbell.