Perry family meets organ donor recipient three years after losing their 12-year-old son



Kamdyn Hike was 12 years old when he died from a sudden asthma attack. Sunday marks three years since Krystal Burkhart lost her son.”I still think about him every minute of every day,” Krystal Burkhart said. “He was the most amazing boy. He was funny and he was so smart and everybody loved him. He was a wonderful kid.”On Sunday, family and friends came together in Perry for an annual celebration of life, sharing stories and honoring the memory of a life lost but never forgotten.”If someone’s having a bad day, he would go hang out with them and like cheer them up and everything. I’m pretty lucky to have a really cool big brother,” Kamdyn’s younger brother Ashton said.”He was a really good cousin. When I would feel really sad and would put myself down because I would always get bullied at school, he would always be there to stand up for me,” Kamdyn’s cousin Wayne said.But the same day that marks so much lossm also marks a miracle — the day that Kamdyn’s kidney saved Jake Harback.”Without Kamdyn and his family, I wouldn’t be here today. You know, I was months away from passing away. I was on dialysis for years… This gift, and you know, horrible day for the family. I just hope that my life in some way gives them solace,” Jake Harback said. “I hope that they know that I try to live every day to make sure that I honor Kamdyn’s memory.”On Sunday, Harback saw Kamdyn’s family for the first time.”When I hugged Jake, I felt like I was hugging Kamdyn again. And I didn’t want to let go. It felt like another part of me was starting to heal if that makes sense,” Kamdyn’s aunt, Megan Burkhart, said.The group released balloons as a part of Kamdyn’s celebration of life. Jake stood arm in arm with Kamdyn’s famiy. “It was really hard losing Kamdyn, but the organ donation process and being able to talk to people that my son saved made it so much easier. A piece of my son lives on through them,” Krystal Burkhart said.If you would like to become a donor, go to iowadonornetwork.org.

Kamdyn Hike was 12 years old when he died from a sudden asthma attack. Sunday marks three years since Krystal Burkhart lost her son.

“I still think about him every minute of every day,” Krystal Burkhart said. “He was the most amazing boy. He was funny and he was so smart and everybody loved him. He was a wonderful kid.”

On Sunday, family and friends came together in Perry for an annual celebration of life, sharing stories and honoring the memory of a life lost but never forgotten.

“If someone’s having a bad day, he would go hang out with them and like cheer them up and everything. I’m pretty lucky to have a really cool big brother,” Kamdyn’s younger brother Ashton said.

“He was a really good cousin. When I would feel really sad and would put myself down because I would always get bullied at school, he would always be there to stand up for me,” Kamdyn’s cousin Wayne said.

But the same day that marks so much lossm also marks a miracle — the day that Kamdyn’s kidney saved Jake Harback.

“Without Kamdyn and his family, I wouldn’t be here today. You know, I was months away from passing away. I was on dialysis for years… This gift, and you know, horrible day for the family. I just hope that my life in some way gives them solace,” Jake Harback said. “I hope that they know that I try to live every day to make sure that I honor Kamdyn’s memory.”

On Sunday, Harback saw Kamdyn’s family for the first time.

“When I hugged Jake, I felt like I was hugging Kamdyn again. And I didn’t want to let go. It felt like another part of me was starting to heal if that makes sense,” Kamdyn’s aunt, Megan Burkhart, said.

The group released balloons as a part of Kamdyn’s celebration of life. Jake stood arm in arm with Kamdyn’s famiy.

“It was really hard losing Kamdyn, but the organ donation process and being able to talk to people that my son saved made it so much easier. A piece of my son lives on through them,” Krystal Burkhart said.

If you would like to become a donor, go to iowadonornetwork.org.



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