Grieving Father Hears Late Son’s Heartbeat Inside a Build-A-Bear From Recipient of His Son’s Heart

After the tragic traffic accident that took the life of 16-year-old John William Dakota Reid in 2019, his father, John Allan Lee Reid, made the decision to donate his son’s organs to those who needed them to survive. Dakota wound up saving five different people. The elder Reid told WIRC that this is what his son would want.

He’s making changes in people’s lives…My son is a hero.

The recipient of Dakota’s heart went to a man named Robert O’Connor in Massachusetts. O’Connor acknowledged the wonderful gift that Dakota gave to him with a Build-A-Bear that read “Best Dad Ever” and played a recording of Dakota’s heart beating inside O’Connor’s chest.

It felt like I was there again, like he was with me, you know, and now I can listen to it anytime I want to.

Here’s O’Connor talking about the gift Dakota gave to him and his wish to repay the Reid’s as best he could.

Robert said he is forever grateful for the gift of life he received and keeps Dakota in his thoughts….Robert had an idea. He wanted the Reid’s to still be able to feel dakota’s presence. so he made a build a bear they could keep forever with his new heart beat in it… Dakota’s heartbeat.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.