Drowning victim donates heart valves on aunt's transplant anniversary

The parents of 5-year-old drowning victim, Kendrick Jordan Jr., donated his heart valves on the five-year anniversary of his aunt's heart transplant surgery.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -  Parents say they're concerned about the lack of lifeguards on some Minnesota beaches.

This comes after a 5-year-old boy, Kendrick Jordan Jr. drowned at Carver Lake in Woodbury Saturday. The  Woodbury Parks and Recreation Director says it's common for free state and county waterfronts to have no lifeguards, while paid facilities typically do.

The child's parents said they were led to believe lifeguards were on duty. That day, they said their son was swimming with a family friend.

"To see that sign in news, no lifeguards on duty, my heart instantly dropped to my stomach," Kendrick Jordan Sr. said. "The fact that we sent the caregiver with a life jacket just hurts my heart that much more."

The child's mother, Anita Miller, said she wants all parents to double check before sending their child to the next lake or pool. She says she still has no idea how long her son was underwater.

"When people who finally knew what to do got there, plenty of time passed since they made the call, since they even noticed he was missing," she said Wednesday. "I've heard seven minutes and 10 minutes. But every minute counted."

The Jordan family knows there's a gift in death. On the day Kendrick Jordan Jr. died, the family was planning to celebrate the five-year anniversary of his aunt's heart transplant surgery.

His aunt Vivica Loyd, now 17, was given the gift of life. In death, Kendrick was able to do the same. His mother says her son's heart valves were donated on the same day they were supposed to celebrate Loyd's second chance at life. She also says her son was able to donate parts of his eye.

"I am just glad in a time of need, another person or parent at the side of their hospital bed with their kid dying, my son could help out and give another life," Kendrick Jordan Sr. said. "That makes me feel happy. Especially with my little sister here right now. She has been in need like that."

Loyd also had two kidney transplants.

GoFundMe has been set up to help with Kendrick's funeral expenses.

When tears fall faster than the family can wipe away, they remember how Kendrick Jordan Jr. made them smile.

"The little jokes and tricks he tried to play. When he lost that tooth," his father, Kendrick Jordan Sr., said laughing.

"I didn't hide it good enough, so he found it. He took it back and tried to trick the tooth fairy into getting something else," his mom added. "He was trying to get more money."

 

© 2017 KARE-TV


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