Created: 10/06/2013 10:38 PM
By: Nicole Brady, KOB Eyewitness News 4 and KOB.com Staff
There are a lot of stories on the field at Balloon Fiesta Park and a lot of special reasons for people to be there.
On Sunday morning, two families came together for their first balloon flight and to celebrate life.
One life was cut short and another was given a second chance.
Six-year-old Keegen Harrison attended his first Balloon Fiesta on Sunday.
A first his parents never imagined he would celebrate.
Keegen was born with a heart defect--and at just seven days old, he became the youngest heart transplant recipient in Texas.
“You know one moment you're overjoyed that your child has been given a second chance at life, and at the same time, you quickly come to understand what that means for another family,” said Keegan’s father Gray Harrison.
The other family is the Walkers.
Their baby boy, Johnston, passed away shortly after birth.
They were asked if they would consider donating his tiny heart.
“We didn't know it was Keegan at the time, we just knew there was a baby that needed a heart, and Johnston was a perfect match for him,” said Johnston’s father Kevin Walker.
The Walkers eventually moved from Texas to Albuquerque.
They chose Balloon Fiesta for a reunion and to celebrate life.
“It’s just the biggest blessing we could ask for,” Keegans mother Maddie Harrison said.
The Walker’s now have two more sons and they have become like brothers to Keegan.
“At first I was skeptical about donating, I didn't know much about it, back when Johnston passed but I tell you it was the best decision we ever made as a family,” Walker said. “Our son lives on in Keegan, and it spared the Harrison family from that heartache of losing a child, and now here we are today six years later with a beautiful healthy boy.”
Two families now joined as one through a painful loss and a powerful decision.