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Dad hears late son’s heartbeat in teddy bear sent from donor recipient

John Reid
John Reid

(NEW YORK) — Video of a father listening to his son’s heartbeat inside a teddy bear is capturing the hearts of over 100,000 people on Facebook.

Stephanie Reid shared the footage earlier this month of her husband, John Reid, opening the gift from his late teenager’s heart recipient. Dakota Reid, 16, died Jan. 25, 2019, days after being pronounced brain dead as a result of injuries he suffered in a car accident, the Reid family told ABC News’ Good Morning America.

“He was full of life and there was not a person he did not love with all his heart,” Stephanie Reid of McKenney, Virginia, told GMA. “He aspired to be a rapper, and he was pretty good at it. Dakota didn’t have enemies. He always wanted peace.”

“We loved to hear him laugh and see him smile,” she added. “And he loved to play jokes on his dad. He [did] a great imitation of his dad.”

After Dakota died, dad John Reid decided to donate Dakota’s organs. A 69-year-old man named Bob O’Connor from Massachusetts received the child’s heart.

“I am a Christian and I believe God called on my heart that this is what I was supposed to do,” John Reid told I. “I knew it would bring life to others — therefore, giving me closure that he lives on.”

On Feb. 5, John Reid received a package from O’Connor containing a teddy bear that held the recording of Dakota’s heartbeat.

A tearful Reid can be seen in a video with his ear held up to the stuffed animal.

“My heart was filled with joy, that he was able to give a piece of Dakota back to me,” he said. “When Dakota was in the hospital, every night I would lay my head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat. Even up to that last night. Thanks to Bob O’Connor, I will continue to listen to his heartbeat.”

The Reids hope the video raises awareness on organ donation, they said. They hope to meet O’Connor in person someday soon.

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