The heart of the matter: The importance of organ donation

Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier | Emily Eppens

Buy Now Brandon Pollock Jenelle Shamrell holds a photo of her son, Caleb Shamrell, in Cedar Falls.

CEDAR FALLS | Jenelle Shamrell sat on the edge of the burnt orange sofa in Cup of Joe's, balancing an iPad gingerly in her hands.

A little boy with blond hair and bright blue eyes -- her son Caleb -- smiled for the camera, almost as if he too, was in the room.

She never expected Caleb, now deceased, the youngest of her six children, would save lives when he was born. Like many other nearly 3-year-old boys, playing with toy trucks and wearing a superhero cape were his favorite pastimes.

Caleb suffered from speech and sleeping issues, a condition commonly referred to as "hot potato mouth." As Caleb grew older, his doctor suggested taking out his tonsils.

What was supposed to be a simple procedure turned into a nightmare. Continue reading