Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 

News

Photo Gallery


Classifieds
Sports
Entertainment
Business
Community
Living
Marketplace
Weather
Site Map

About Us

   SEARCH
 
 

 

Monday, May 22, 2000

Tot's life turns into reprieve for three
Upon his death, the family donates his organs to children on a waiting list.

By Sharyn Obsatz
The Press-Enterprise

 

Max McLeod's family. Father Wayne , mother Carolyn Bowe-McLeod and daughter Jorden,3 1/2.

Peter Phun
The Press-Enterprise

 

Carolyn Bowe-McLeod lost one child last month but saved three others.

Her 13-month-old son, Max, died a few days after falling into the swimming pool at his grandfather's house in Upland. Max's liver, kidneys and heart were transplanted into three Southern California children in need of new organs.

"It's a tragedy and we lost him. But we didn't, part of him is still alive," said Bowe-McLeod, 29, who lives in Palmdale. "It was a way for us to not absolutely have to say goodbye."

One of the children saved by Max, 9-month-old Alexandria CaHoon, had been slowly dying of a weak heart at Loma Linda University Medical Center until the March 22 transplant.

Now she's out of the hospital and living with family in Riverside, cooling her emerging teeth with banana yogurt and babbling on the phone to relatives.

 
Max Bowe-McLeod died at age 13 months and his liver, kidneys and heart were donated to save the lives of three children.
 

Alexandria's mother, Danielle CaHoon, has written to the donor family.

"She said, `Let me tell you how strong your son's heart is,' " Bowe-McLeod said. "I was just bawling."

Bowe-McLeod urged more families to think about organ donation, something she and her husband, Wayne Bowe-McLeod, 29, never talked about until the tragedy. Last week was National Organ Donor Awareness Week. Loma Linda and San Bernardino County will celebrate Organ Donor Awareness Day on May 9.

She also urged families to put fences around their swimming pools.

Max had just learned how to run a couple weeks before the Saturday morning when he disappeared for a few minutes while his dad was watching him, his 3-year-old sister and two young cousins, Carolyn Bowe-McLeod said.

The night before, his family had caught him a couple times trying to get into the pool, she said. Just before 10 a.m. Saturday, Max took another run at the pool, fell in and never regained consciousness.

"Max loves swimming, he loved the pool," she said. Her father has since put up a black, 4-foot-tall mesh fence around the pool, she said. "If there's going to be children, have a fence. I thought this could never happen to me."

Max's sister, Jorden, used to pick out his clothes and carry him around, she said. "She talks about him every single day."

Max's kidneys went to a boy in Los Angeles and his liver went to a child in Orange County, she said. "They're all doing great."

Miles away in Riverside, the mother of Max's heart recipient said her daughter has suddenly come alive again.

"She looks like a different kid, you wouldn't even recognize her," Danielle CaHoon, 21, said about baby Alexandria. "She's eating her toes. She's screaming when she hurts. She's really doing what a normal child does. She has the energy to be ornery if she wants to."

CaHoon said she's received support from family members and from strangers who have donated money to help cover medical costs.

Alexandria's heart had been weakened by a viral infection when she was 2 months old. Doctors predicted she would die within a year.

Her mother had brought her from Seattle to Loma Linda three months ago in the hopes that university hospital's resources and reputation would increase Alexandria's chances of getting a new heart.

The father, Sterling CaHoon, 25, had stayed in Washington to keep his courier job and the family's life insurance. He flew in for the early morning transplant operation.

Carolyn Bowe-McLeod said maybe Max's heart donation to Alexandria was predestined. She said that if Max had been born a girl, they had picked out the name Brooke Alexandra.

"He did more than most people," she said about Max and his full first year of life. "We believe he had a bigger mission than what we comprehend. He saved three people."

Meanwhile, the wait continues for three children still hoping for heart transplants at Loma Linda University Medical Center: Brenden Currie, a 9-month-old boy from Vancouver, Canada; Asato Tsuji, a 4-year-old girl from Japan; and Zackery O'Kessen, a 20-month-old boy from Ramona in San Diego County.

For more information on organ donation, call the Southern California Organ Procurement Center's 24-hour hotline at 1-800-338-6112.

To help the families on the Loma Linda waiting list, call the hospital's community relations office at (909) 558-4419.

Sharyn Obsatz can be reached at sobsatz@pe.com or (909) 792-6547.

 

Published 4/28/2000

Send comments to mailto:feedback@inlandempireonline.com?subject=

Asbestos discovery shuts down public defender's office in Riverside
Tot's life turns into reprieve for three
Tax return draws lawsuit
Jim Brulte named state Senate GOP leader
Figures show little change for schools
Officials hope for median upgrade
Champion shooter aims to keep Old West alive
PR officer accepts job made for him
Pupils create world wonders
Hispanic culture reason for new center
White Park closure turns 3
High-profile case lawyer suspended
Bus plan: 47 diesel, 47 natural gas
Two men convicted in drug-ripoff killing
Abuse alleged at nursing home
Group homes cause concern
Running enthusiasts ready for Redlands
Sheriff backs off report pledge
Eaves got gifts after voting to approve millions in bonds
San Bernardino plan for lakes called doable
Staged fatal crash drives home a point
Tractor Race still a go
Teams say they need field time
Sound makes waves for city
Temecula teacher slowdown spreads
DAN BERNSTEIN: Elian Gonzalez, and the making of a president
CASSIE MACDUFF: Official's firing signals change in Redlands
Check it out!

Survey: What should be done with the Highway 91 lanes?
Search for past news stories in our Archives.
Links for more about stories in the news.

Marketplace

Coupons
Save at local businesses with online coupons!
Shop The Empire
Your online guide to local merchants.



  Inland Empire Online is a service of The Press-Enterprise Company.Comments here.
Copyright 2000 The Press-Enterprise Company. Designed and hosted by PE.net.
press enterprise, riverside press enterprise, press-enterprise, inland empire, riverside newspaper, inland empire news, inland empire online,inlandempireonline, press enterprise newspaper, riverside newspaper, prep sports, high school sports, youth sports, local news, electronic village, fantasy football, tech news, business press, real estate, legal guide, readersŐ choice, photo gallery, entertainment news, movie listings, tv listings, television listings, job listings, columns, dan bernstein, lyle spencer, cassie macduff, andy mccue, bob pratteriverside, san bernardino, inland empire, temecula, corona, hemet, moreno valley, ontario, rancho cucamonga, rialto, colton, fontana, bloomington, chino, norco, lake elsinore, canyon lake, quail valley, wildomar, murrietta, highland, redlands, mentone, loma linda, grand terrace, yucaipa, calimesa, beaumont, banning, perris, nuevo, sun city, menifee, winchester, san jacinto, idyllwild, anza, aguanga