NORTH LIBERTY– Beckham Scadlock, 4, of North Liberty, son of Kim and Nate Scadlock, has been named Honorary Kid Captain for Friday, Dec. 30, when the Iowa Hawkeyes take on Oklahoma at the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.
Beckham was born with a heart murmur and had difficulty breathing. He was diagnosed with mitral valve and tricuspid valve stenosis, and his heart was unable to infuse his blood with oxygen. When he was 5 days old Beckham was flown by helicopter to University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and was immediately placed on a heart transplant list.
“Doctors said that was his only option,” said Beckham’s mother, Kim.
Meeting with their newborn son’s new doctors and nurses in the UI Children’s Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, the Scadlocks both felt at ease for the first time since Beckham was born. “He was in the place he needed to be and everyone was so very welcoming to us,” added Kim.
Beckham received his heart transplant 10 days later and returned home a month after the surgery. Beckham recovered fairly easily from the surgery and the transplant, but had an unexplained stroke after a series of illnesses when he was 14 months old. At 19 months old, he developed Evans Syndrome, an autoimmune blood disorder in which his body creates antibodies against his own platelets and red blood cells. But, even with these setbacks, his new heart stayed strong.
“We’re so grateful for everybody who’s been part of his care. From the coordinators to the nurses, who put in so many hours, and the doctors who have done such a good job deciding his plan of care, they’ve been so important in Beckham’s continued recovery,” said Nate.
Beckham’s health scares have eased, with few hospital visits these days, giving the little boy plenty of time at home with older sister, Gwen, 5, and sister Blythe, 1.
It’s a bittersweet occasion when a child receives a donor heart because it means that another family has lost its son or daughter. Kim noted, “That’s the hardest part of the whole process, because you are fighting so hard for your child to live, but you know that in order for this to happen, another child has to pass away.”
Last year, Beckham and his family attended the Transplant Olympic Games in Madison, Wisc., where they met the family of the child whose heart now beats in his chest. “Beckham can be headstrong, but he ran right into their arms for a hug. What better way to show what the gift of life can do,” says Kim.
More information and a video about Beckham are available at http://www.uihealthcare.org/kidcaptain .
In its third year, the Kid Captain program is a partnership between UI Children’s Hospital and the Iowa Hawkeyes to honor UI Children’s Hospital patients and celebrate their stories.
(Photo and text reprinted with permission from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics)