"I could feel my son," Eaton said. "His heartbeat was so pure."
Cazmirr "Cash" Landers was an outgoing 2-year-old boy who wanted to travel the world on a tricycle, his mother said. He never met a stranger and liked to share things with the people around him.
When Cash died drowned last year, Eaton decided to donate his organs in the hope that his legacy would last.
Eaton's selfless choice saved Lola's life when she was 5 months old. On Wednesday, Eaton could hear his heartbeat through Lola for the first time.
"As soon as I entered the room, it was very overwhelming," Eaton said. "I saw her, and I broke down and cried."
The single mother and her 4-year-old daughter, Cierra, traveled from her home in Beijing, Illinois, this week to meet Lola at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, where the girl is receiving treatment.
"Lola seemed to have an instant connection with her," Lola's grandmother, Margaret Bond Vorel, said. "The moment Brooke hugged her, Lola melted in her chest."
Lola's path to recovery
Vorel still remembers the exact moment they found Lola a couple: 4 p.m. Monday, September 3, 2018.
"I really didn't believe it. At first, I thought they were joking," Vorel said.
Throughout the surgery, Vorel said, his heart was with Eaton, thinking about the great pain he was experiencing.
Thanks to Cash's heart, Lola is now doing wonderfully, according to Vorel. He will continue to take anti-rejection medications for the rest of his life, but doctors expect him to recover completely and have a normal childhood. However, in the future, Lola will probably need another heart transplant.
Vorel says he cannot emphasize enough the importance of organ donation.
Two families join
Donor families and recipients are not always like this. Vorel was given guidelines to write a letter of thanks to Eaton, in which he indicated that he would love to meet one day.
Now, Vorel feels he has known Eaton all his life.
"Because of his big decision, we have Lola," Vorel said.
The two families have planned to meet this year to celebrate the holidays.
"She will be a big part of our life from now on," said Vorel. "Cash can live inside Lola."