What a joy our first son has been to my wife Audrey and me. Three years after Nolan’s birth, we welcomed our second son, Cameron, into the world. Life was good.
But a few months later, we received a call that changed our lives forever. Time stood still as I heard my mother-in-law, who had been watching the boys that afternoon, say, “Cameron’s stopped breathing.”
Audrey and I rushed to the hospital where the medical team was trying to revive our baby. After our son was transferred to Winnipeg’s Children’s Hospital, a specialist took Audrey and me aside and told us Cameron was brain dead. His heart and lungs were being sustained artificially, and he wouldn’t recover from this state.
I felt empty and powerless. I begged God to spare my son’s life – even offering mine in exchange for his. But in God’s infinite wisdom and grace, he offered something else.
We spent much of the next 24 hours by Cameron’s side as he underwent a battery of tests to confirm the diagnosis. If by some miracle, his condition changed, the doctors would do their best to keep him alive.
Friends and family flooded into the hospital upon receiving the news. We were moved by their support, and it was a powerful testimony to the doctors and nurses on the ward.
Even though we were praying for a miracle, we also prayed we would accept Cameron’s death, and not question God if he didn’t recover. God was in control; he knew the big picture.
When Audrey inquired about whether Cameron could be an organ donor, the doctors told us Cameron’s heart was weak, and there were many hurdles.
We prayed that God would pave the way if this was the route we should take. Almost immediately, Cameron’s heart started to get stronger – something that astonished the doctors, given the fact it was being kept alive by machines. Soon after, a donor match was found: a five-month-old boy on the brink of death could receive Cameron’s heart. Something good would come from something tragic.
When the tests confirmed what the doctors knew, Cameron was declared brain-dead January 25, 2005.
God gave us peace, knowing that Cameron is enjoying heaven this very moment, and one day we will enjoy it together with him.
We prayed for a miracle that Cameron might live so we could enjoy him for a lifetime. But death is a part of life. Accepting that, we know the miracle of life was given to another boy through Cameron’s death. This boy now has the opportunity to know Jesus’ love and accept his gift of salvation. Cameron’s death spoke to many about their need for God’s love in their lives. Audrey and I are honoured the Lord chose us to be Cameron’s parents.