Patient Care

Gift of Life Unites 2 Families in Heart and Song

Apr. 28, 2016
Holly Campbell of Horseheads meets pediatric heart transplant recipient Beckham Scadlock at an event a few years ago. At 2 weeks old, Beckham received the heart of Holly's infant son,11-week-old Jake Campbell.
The death of a child is perhaps the worst nightmare a parent can experience. For Horseheads residents Holly and Andy Campbell, who lost their 11-week-old infant son, Jake, they will never get over their loss. Yet during a time of sudden tragedy, when their baby was rushed to Rochester but couldn’t be saved, they realized that through the gift of organ donation they could help keep another family from losing a child.
As they made their selfless decision that day in 2007, 800 miles away in Iowa, a then 2-week-old baby boy, Beckham, and his parents, Kim and Nathan Scadlock, faced the difficult odds of Beckham receiving a heart transplant. That is, until the courageous decision that took place at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital.
The two families eventually met, and they discovered that along with the gift of one heart that united them, so too did one song. Unknowingly, both moms sang “For Good” from the Broadway musical “Wicked” to their infant sons: one as she said goodbye to her 11-week-old, and one just after her 2-week-old received his new heart.
Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network will reunite the Campbell and Scadlock families, who have become close friends, today at Golisano Children’s Hospital. They will honor their sons, beginning at 10 a.m. with a Donate Life flag-raising ceremony outside Strong Memorial Hospital. Following at 10:30 a.m. in the Golisano Children’s Hospital lobby, they will share their story and the moms will sing “For Good” together.

For Holly Campbell, it’s an opportunity to share her family’s powerful story.

“It's clear how organ and tissue donation can benefit the recipient and their family,” Campbell said. “My family lives the other side of organ donation, and we can tell you that this is also a gift for the donor family. Our son may no longer be physically with us, but he lives on in Beckham. Each time we see him, we are reminded of Jake in such a beautiful way. Nothing will ever take away the pain of our loss, but organ donation has helped us find the silver lining.”
Joining the Campbells and the Scadlocks on Friday will be staff members from Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network and Golisano Children’s Hospital who cared for Jake Campbell and his family and witnessed firsthand what true giving is all about.
“We are privileged to know these families and grateful for their willingness to share their powerful stories and feelings about how the gift of life has impacted them,” said Rob Kochik, executive director of Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. “Friday’s tribute will allow us to honor Jake, Holly and Andy Campbell, and all donors and donor families who saw beyond themselves to give the ultimate gift. It will also be an opportunity to celebrate how a donor’s spirit lives on in others, as Jake’s does in Beckham.”
The events are part of  Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network’s month-long outreach efforts during National Donate Life Month to raise awareness across the region about donation and enrolling in the state Donate Life Registry, including a Donate Life Month proclamation to be delivered Saturday by the deputy mayor of Horseheads.
FLDRN is the link between patients awaiting life-saving transplants and donors and the families who make the gift of life possible. The organization coordinates organ and tissue donations in the Finger Lakes, Central and Northern New York regions, working closely with the region’s hospitals to ensure that the organ donor decisions of area residents, in consultation with their families, are carried out at the time of death.
Jake Campbell