Grandpa and grandson bonded by scars and 'heart-aversary'

GENEVIEVE SHAW BROWN
·2 min read

Grandpas and their grandsons often share a special bond, but for Jim Simpson and his namesake, James O’Leary, their bond has a physical element that's easy to see.

The two share surgical scars from their heart surgeries. But that's not all -- they also share an anniversary. The two had their heart surgeries on the very same day, eight years apart.

Larkin O’Leary, mom of James and daughter of Jim, took the photos a few years back but recently shared them on social media.

"These photos mean so much to me for a few important reasons," she told "Good Morning America." "First, because there was a point in time when I didn’t know if my dad or son would live. They are photos of survival and strength. These photos also capture the indescribable bond my father and son have."

The photos were shot by Lindsey Tatum.

"I first met James when he was just a few weeks old," Tatum said. "It has been an honor to capture these special times in his life."

"James and his grandfather have an undeniable bond and their love for each other is palpable. His eyes light up when he sees his grandpa," she added.

Larkin O'Leary, who is the president of the nonprofit Common Ground Society, said she founded the organization because of the strength of her son, who has had 28 surgeries in his life. Her son, she said, is "a bright light in this world."

"The photos are also important because they capture the beginning of the roller coaster of a life we now have," O'Leary said. "Both my son and dad have taught me just how precious life truly is."

Grandpa and grandson bonded by scars and 'heart-aversary' originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com