When she was pregnant with her first baby, Cindy Cook was ecstatic, until an abnormality was detected. “We learned that our son had a rare genetic disorder called Trisomy 13,” she said, “and the doctors said it was ‘incompatible with life.’”
Their son, Jonathan was born on April 3, 1996 and from the start he was a fighter. When Jonathan was five he stopped breathing and lost too much oxygen to his brain to sustain breathing on his own. “We were prepared to say goodbye,” Cindy explained. “But in true Jonathan fashion, he had other plans and began breathing again.”
When Jonathan was seven, Cindy had twin boys, Jacob and Evan, and when he was 10 Nathan was born. But only six months later, Jonathan stopped breathing again. “This time, because of what he suffered when he was five, his brain could not withstand the trauma,” Cindy said. The doctors detected no brain activity. “But Jonathan was still surprising us,” Cindy recalled. “We were told he could be an organ and tissue donor.”
Cindy shares how Jonathan was treated with such respect and tenderness. “The Gift of Hope coordinator wanted to know everything about Jonathan and we were so proud to tell her about our miracle son,’” Cindy said.
Jonathan was able to be a tissue donor. He donated his heart valves, bone and some skin. “We recently learned that his heart valves were given to an eight-year-old girl and this brings us great joy,” Cindy shared. “What an ironic twist! This boy, whose condition was ‘incompatible with life,’ went on to save a life!”