Grieving couple donates son's organs to save children's lives

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Deborah and Ladell King shared a letter, describing their youngest child.

"Cameron was such a bright person, with a great personality," Deborah read from the letter.

"When he met you, he wasn't a stranger to you," said Ladell King.

Cameron King was a bundle of energy. He played football, baseball, basketball and soccer. He also sang in the youth choir and played the drums in church.

"He started at the house beating my lampshade up, and then he started beating the car seat up, and then we said 'This boy's got talent'," said Deborah.

The active, healthy young man turned 11 years old on November 25th. Four days later, family and friends celebrated his birthday at a skating rink. It was also the Kings' 16th wedding anniversary. Suddenly, Cameron complained of severe headaches and started vomiting.

"He said 'Mama please. It's really hurting bad'. And he was crying, and he said 'Please take me to the hospital'," Deborah said.

The Kings rushed their son to Biloxi Regional Hospital. The news was devastating.

"That's when they came out and said 'Do you know you have a sick child?' I was like 'No. What's wrong with him? He's never been sick'. They said he had a severe hemorrhaging in his brain, and his vessel broke, and he had a stroke," said Deborah.

Cameron was transferred to a hospital in Mobile. He died on Monday. Deborah decided then to donate her son's organs.

"I said he's going to do something good. He's going to help save lives," said Deborah. "The Lord just laid it on my heart to do it because Cameron would want that."

Doctors told the Kings that eight people needed Cameron's organs. One was a 14-year-old girl.

"It makes me feel good, because I know that little girl lived because Cameron donated his lungs. She didn't die. She didn't die," said Deborah.

Another child, an eight year old, received Cameron's liver. In life, he touched countless lives. In death, he continues to give.

"That's what keeps me going, knowing he's helping other kids," said Deborah. "He's doing God's work. He still lives on."

"I wish he could have told his brothers and sisters I'm going to a better place, and I'll be all right," said Ladell.

Cameron is survived his parents and four brothers and three sisters.

He attended Lyman Elementary School before transferring to Bel Aire Elementary. Lyman Elementary turned the school bulletin board into a memorial for Cameron. Students wrote letters, poems and their special memories of Cameron. The school also collected money to help the family with expenses.

Visitation for Cameron is Friday from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Little Rock Baptist Church in Gulfport. The funeral is Saturday at 11 a.m., also at the church. Burial follows at Monroe Memorial Park in Gulfport.