When Brandon and Lacey Wilcox tragically lost their 2-year-old daughter, Alaiya, nearly two years ago, they couldn’t imagine anything beyond the insurmountable grief they were feeling.
Alaiya died from bacterial meningitis on December 26, 2015. Her parents made the selfless decision to donate the toddler’s organs.
“Alaiya was such a giving child that we knew it was the right thing to do,” Lacey says. “We knew that she would be saving others’ lives.”
Alaiya’s organs went to seven different recipients, and her heart was enough to give 10-month-old Mason Perkins a fair shot at life.
It wasn’t until a year after Alaiya’s passing that Mason’s mother, Angela, reached out for permission to contact Lacey via Facebook.
On December 28, 2016—exactly one year after Mason’s transplant operation—the two moms connected.
Brandon and Lacey admit they had always wondered if the gift of their daughter’s organs meant as much to the recipients and their families as it had to them.
“I myself prayed we would be able to meet them and hear her sweet heartbeat again,” Lacey said.
Angela’s gratitude and love for Alaiya was more than either of the Wilcox’s had ever expected or even hoped for. It brought them comfort, and a sense of joy.
After talking for a while, Lacey and Angela began planning where and how the families could meet.
“We talked about meeting all year,” said Lacey. “We knew it was important for all of us to have a relationship because we are connected for life.”
It’s no secret that God’s timing is always perfect, and a doctor’s appointment for Mason in Nashville gave the families a “halfway point” to finally meet.
Lacey says seeing Mason ignited a whole flood of emotions for her and Brandon, but one thing is certain: Alaiya’s spirit is alive in him.
“We definitely saw Alaiya in him,” Lacey said.
After nearly two years, Lacey got to hear her daughter’s heartbeat again, and then Brandon. The moment was bittersweet, and one they’ll never forget.
“I was happy and sad all in one,” she said. “In a perfect world, Alaiya and Mason could have both been saved and Angela and I could have met in the baby aisle of Target, but that isn’t our story.”
Lacey says she hopes the families can stay close and their kids can grow up knowing each other because they share a unique bond that can never be broken.
“I am forever grateful for the gift of life,” Angela said. “I will always make sure that Mason lives a life big enough for two.”