Touching surprise gives Virginia family chance to hear son’s heartbeat year after tragic loss


DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Virginia family got a heartwarming surprise this week that brought them to tears more than a year after their 16-year-old son Dakota Reid died in a tragic multi-vehicle crash. The teen’s donated organs saved five lives, including one Massachusetts man who was in need of a heart.

Reid’s parents, Stephanie and John, said their son’s wings were ready but their hearts were not. Reid’s heart would go on to save a man’s life.

The man who received Reid’s heart, Robert O’ Conner, gave his family an unexpected gift that will keep their son’s heart with them forever. During his yearly checkup, O’Conner decided he wanted to record his heartbeat to send to the Reid’s family.

READ MORE: Family mourns loss of Dinwiddie student killed in multi-vehicle crash

O’Conner went to a Build-A-Bear Workshop and put the recording of the heartbeat inside a bear to give to the teen’s parents. Stephanie Reid captured her husband’s reaction while opening the surprise gift from O’Conner on Wednesday.

In the video, D. Reid’s family struggles to hold back tears while John Reid takes out the bear and presses the paw to hear their son’s heart beating.

“I was lucky that I even got a heart,” O’Conner told 8News in a Facetime interview Thursday. “Myself and my family are so grateful for them donating their son’s organs.”

D. Reid’s corneas are helping a man see for the first time and four other lives were saved by his organs. His father is now asking others to consider being organ donors.

“He’s making changes in people’s lives,” J. Reid said. “My son is a hero.”

Reid’s family said they are “complete” knowing that their son’s organs helped save five people. O’Conner and the Reid family have already made plans to meet in person.


Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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