Landon Merritt O’Neal Palmer
Landon Merritt O’Neal Palmer, from Council Bluffs, IA, was born in October 2015 but was only 8 days old when he was taken from this Earth.
He was the firstborn and a bald headed, feisty little guy! From the moment we found out we were expecting he was loved. He was the first-born grandchild on both sides. Let the spoiling begin.
All was going well throughout the whole pregnancy. On October 14 a healthy, tiny 5 1/2 lb baby boy made a grand entrance into our world. We brought him home to cuddle, snuggle, and love. All was well in our world.However, on October 20th things took a turn. In my arms and our home, Landon went into cardiac arrest.
CPR was performed until EMS could arrive. They got him back up and running only to code again hours later. After numerous attempts, Landon wasn’t able to keep himself going on his own.He was placed on ECMO as a life-saving measure. But because of the lack of oxygen from coding many times, Landon’s brain was too damaged and had lost the ability to heal itself and function properly. This was when we as his parents started the organ donation talk. We knew we were losing our son but didn’t want any other parent to have to go thru what we were. The only thing we could think was organ donation could help another family avoid this moment and a part of Landon would live on. We chose to have Landon give the gift of life to others
In his short time on our Earth he made his way into many hearts and lives. He also taught us so much about love for not only us but others as well. Each October we honor Landon with a birthday celebration and celebration of life party. We do this to keep him alive and living within the hearts and minds of our family and friends but we also celebrate his ultimate gift… the gift of life thru organ donation! He physically lives on in the lives of the two children he was able to give his liver to, but also through the research that was able to be done with the remaining enzymes for additional children’s futures.
Not only do we have a celebration but each year we participate in the local annual organ donation walk as “Team Landon”. We create a new shirt each year to wear and donate the profit to our local organ recovery facility and other organizations in his name. Throughout the year we randomly wear these shirts and are frequently asked about them. We use this time to discuss how our son gave the ultimate gift… the gift of life thru organ donation. We feel he continues to live on as his message continues to be shared.
As his family, we are extremely grateful to be able to continue living his legacy through this journey.