Iowa couple Meagan and Paul Sobolik who lost their child to a sudden illness are going viral for a video they posted of their 1-year-old’s trip to the operating room to become an organ donor.
Family and staff lined the hallway, singing “Amazing Grace” as tears were shed for the sweet toddler and the life that might have been.
Coralynn “Cora” Eve Sobolik lived for just 12 months before contracting the respiratory illness called parainfluenza in April of 2019.
It got to the point where she difficulty breathing and her parents rushed her to the ER only to learn that her symptoms had progressed beyond what the doctors there could do. She was immediately sedated and transferred to the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for potentially life-saving treatment.
But before they could reach the facility, Cora’s heart stopped beating and medical staff attempted CPR on her tiny body for 25 minutes while her parents stood by, helpless.
While they were able to restart her heart, 25 minutes without oxygen meant the Cora would suffer severe brain damage. A CAT scan at the Mayo Clinic confirmed this.
But her parents weren’t ready to give up. They laid by her side, hoping she would open her eyes, knowing that she would be severely disabled if she were to wake up.
Then, doctors gave them the worst news imaginable – Cora had suffered further complications that left her brain dead. She would never wake up.
“I dropped to my knees and cried and kept saying, ‘No, no, no, God, no.’ I then felt numb and felt empty,” her mother recalled to People.
While their little girl was gone, the fact that she was hooked up to life support meant that her other organs were still functioning. That’s when they made the heartwrenching decision to donate them so that other people could live.
Her mother Meghan shared the news on Facebook with family and friends:
“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.”
As of January 2019, 113,000 men, women, and children in the U.S. were on the organ transplant waiting list. Roughly 20 people a day die because of a shortage of donors.
It’s because donors are so rare (even organ donors who pass away are often not eligible to donate) that hospitals have started marking the occasion by honoring them and their families.
In Cora’s case, this moment was caught on video in a touching but incredibly emotional tribute to the little girl. As her parents accompanied her down the hall, doctors, nurses, and staff lined up against the walls.
Then, through tears, you could hear the words to the hymn “Amazing Grace.”
“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,” said Cora’s mother Meagan said.
In the 6-minute clip, you can hear Meagan whispering, “You get to save three people. I love you forever.”
The family uploaded the heartwrenching video to YouTube shortly after her passing in order to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and over 1 million people have already watched the gut-wrenching footage.
According to a family member, Cora’s organs saved three lives. Her heart went to a one-year-old boy, her liver to a one-year-old girl, and both of her kidneys to a 41-year-old woman.
“She is going to be living on within three different people. She isn’t really gone, she lives on in her legacy,” her mother said.
Meagan and Paul hope that Cora’s story will inspire people to look into organ donation for themselves and for their children.
“When your child donates their organs, they live on in someone else [and] they are saving people that otherwise [might] not be saved without your child’s gifts.”
You can scroll down below to watch the emotional video.
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