Parents have one of the toughest jobs, to take a brand new life and nurture it into a full-grown adult 18 years later. And even after those 18 years are up, your job still isn’t over. There are many bumps in the road, but parenthood is one of the most amazing journeys a person can embark upon.
We are sure to place our babies in infant car seats, then teach preschoolers how to use seatbelts with their booster seats. We shovel fruits and vegetables in them, supplement their health with vitamins, keep them on a solid sleep schedule, and warn them not to do this or that for fear they might be injured.
But in the end, it’s all in God’s hands.
An Iowa couple had spent 12 months doting upon and protecting their precious little girl Coralynn Eve Sobolik. Still, she contracted a nasty virus that quickly stole Cora’s health.
She had contracted parainfluenza and rapidly experienced dire complications. Parents Meagan and Paul noticed their baby girl was having difficulty breathing, so they rushed her to the local hospital.
Because Cora’s condition was worsening by the second, the decision was made to transfer her to Mayo Clinic Hospital in Rochester, Minn. But first, they had to sedate and intubate her for the ride, but during that procedure, her heart stopped beating.
The medical staff performed CPR on Cora for nearly 25 minutes while Meagan, Paul and Cora’s grandma helplessly watched. Once stabilized, Cora was rushed to the hospital where doctors shared that Cora’s heart and echocardiogram were fine, but a CAT scan showed Cora had indeed suffered brain damage.
Paul and Meagan knew that when Cora woke up, she wouldn’t be the same little girl they’d loved for the past 12 months, but that didn’t matter to them.
They just wanted their little girl to open her eyes and look at them, hug them, hold their hands. They never got that chance.
Cora’s condition worsened overnight and throughout the next day. At 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, April 21, 2019, Easter Sunday, Meagan and Paul were given devasting news. Cora was brain dead.
“I dropped to my knees and cried and kept saying, ‘No, no, no, God, no.’ I then felt numb and felt empty.”
The couple clung to each other during such an immense time of grief and loss. But there was a dim light of hope. They decided that even though Cora hadn’t returned to them, she could still live on. They opted to donate her organs to other children who stood a fighting chance, they told People. Meagan shared their decision on Facebook.
“There is now no chance of our little girl recovering but she is still with us and is in the process of organ donation. She became an angel today but tomorrow morning or tomorrow afternoon she will go into surgery and become a superhero and give the wonderful gift of life to up to eight different people that are in desperate need of these organs. We have tonight to be with Cora and will give her the most love we have ever given her yet.”
Many hospitals across the country have begun honoring organ donors as they take their final journey on Earth into an operating room where their organs are harvested and immediately sent out to recipients who usually are shocked and relieved that their own lives are now going to be saved.
The moment where the patient is wheeled to surgery is called different names, such as the Honor Walk or Walk of Respect. But it’s all the same and it’s heartbreakingly beautiful. Doctors, nurses, hospital staff, and loved ones of the patient line the hallway from the hospital room to the surgical room and pay their respects to a person who so unselfishly has chosen to donate his or her organs so that others have a second chance to live.
Someone recorded this very moment where Meagan and Paul’s baby girl, part of their world and their hearts, was led down the hospital’s hallways and escorted into organ donation surgery.
Meagan can be heard whispering, “You get to save three people. I love you forever.”
As Cora’s bed was wheeled down the hallway, everyone gathered in the hallway and sang “Amazing Grace” just for her. Her parents walked along beside their darling daughter, accompanied by a very special doctor.
“I was speechless, and it was truly wonderful to see and feel so much love and support for our little girl. The doctor that took care of her came in on his day off to the be the first in line and also the last one to be with us when they shut the elevator doors to take her to surgery. The nursing staff was amazing to us … They gave us so much comfort and support while we were there, it was amazing.”
The couple experiences pangs of heartache every time they watch the video, but believe that Cora “is watching it with us in spirit.”
“It also adds comfort to me to see [Cora] again and confirm what we did was the right thing to do.”
Cora’s story has impacted so many people.
A one-year-old boy received her heart, a one-year-old girl accepted her liver and a 41-year-old woman was blessed with Cora’s kidneys.
“She is going to be living on within three different people. She isn’t really gone, she lives on in her legacy.”
Meagan and Paul hope that Cora’s organ donations will inspire others to do the same. The little girl who “loved bubbles and being outside with her brother and sister,” lives on in others and saves lives in miraculous ways.
“Our daughter was absolutely the world to us. She was such a happy little girl and always laughing — her laugh was infectious. Cora is our little superhero, and I believe is becoming an inspiration for millions of people and also helping to raise awareness for organ donation all over the world.”
Watch as Cora is surrounded by wonderful people bidding her goodbye before she gives the gift of life to others. Be sure to grab the tissues though and know that this is a difficult video to watch.
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