Left to right: Cameron King's mother Deborah King and Macy Stevens, recipient of Cameron's heart.
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -
This weekend, the family of Cameron King had a meeting that was five years in the making. We first told you the King's story in2008, when their 11-year-old son, Cameron King, died and his organs and tissues were donated to eight different people.
On Saturday, the King's met the recipients of Cameron's organs at St. James Baptist Church. Tears flowed as the families embraced one another like they were long lost friends. Cameron's mother, Deborah King, has been planning this for a while.
"Somebody asked me, ‘why didn't you have it at a restaurant, why didn't you have it at a community center?' I said because love is not in a restaurant, love is not in a community center. I wanted the recipients and everybody to see where Cameron went to church, to see his pastor, and see where he was taught," said King.
Since Cameron's passing in 2008, his mother and the recipients have longed to know one another. Five years later, on what would have been his 16th birthday, that meeting finally happened.
"It was like Cameron was coming home again. I felt his heart, heard his heart beat, felt his pancreas. It's like he's going to live on and I feel good. It's a blessing," said King.
Cameron died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage. With the help of an organ recovery program, the Kings were at ease with making the quick call to donate his organs and tissues. It was a decision that forever changed the life of Amy Giddens.
"When I think of Cameron, I think of life. He's a blessing, an angel, an absolute angel. He's just an angel I don't know how else to describe it," said Giddens.
After receiving Cameron's pancreas, Giddens' health improved more than she had ever anticipated.
"I'm no longer diabetic. I was diabetic for 31 years, but now no more insulin," said Giddens.
Although meeting both recipients had Cameron's mother in tears, it was meeting Macy Stevens, the girl who now has Cameron's heart, which had the congregation weeping.
The Stevens family traveled all the way from Nebraska. Macy's dad, Jordan Stevens, says they travel past Gulfport every year on a family vacation, and have always had the urge to meet the family who helped give their daughter a second chance at life.
"Its life affirming and it just makes things seem all worthwhile, and we have been so fortunate with how well Macy has done with Cameron's heart," said Stevens.
Cameron King may have died at an early age, but the joyful service proves his family will never let his spirit die.