A California mom was able to hear her deceased son’s heartbeat through the chest of the young girl who received it as a transplant, in a heartwarming video that has gone viral since it was posted last week.
As People reports, 25-year-old Heather Clark lost her then-7-month-old son, Lukas, in 2013, from complications of alleged child abuse at the hands of a non-family member. As her baby lay dying, Clark knew that allowing his organs to be donated was the right thing to do, even though it was painful beyond words.
“I knew I couldn’t do anything with his organs once he passed away, so I thought why not save someone else’s life. But when I signed off permission, I knew my baby was 100 percent gone. And that was so hard.”
Still, she did what she believed was the right thing — and doing the right thing saved a stranger’s life.
Jordan Drake was 15-months-old when, in 2013, she was diagnosed with a heart condition known as mitral valve regurgitation. Her mother, now-34-year-old Esther Gonzalez, recalls what she and her family felt on hearing the news of Jordan’s diagnosis.
“We were so scared. We thought she would never get a heart.”
Fortunately for Jordan and her family, she was only on the donor transplant list for a month before Lukas’ heart became available.
Both Clark and Gonzalez wanted to meet some day, but because organ donations are generally anonymous, they had to do some sleuthing to find each other.
“The donation was anonymous, so it was up to us to find each other. We were both writing letters and social media messages trying to locate one another, but we kept missing each other until this year.”
Finally, on Thanksgiving Day, 2015, the two families were able to connect with each other, via Facebook, and last Friday, the two families were able to meet. Clark describes what she felt when she saw the little girl who received her son’s heart.
“I was so nervous to meet Jordan. But when I finally saw her, it felt like I was meeting an old friend. I ran to her and hugged her.”
And in what is arguably the most touching moment of the meeting, Heather Clark put a stethoscope to Jordan’s chest and, for the first time in years, heard her son’s heartbeat, beating strongly in the chest of the little girl to whom he gave the gift of life. You can watch the touching moment in the video below.
“In that moment, it was just me and him, we had been on this long journey together and we both knew this was the end point. He’s gone, but he will keep living through Jordan forever. Lukas has given Jordan this chance at life and I know he is looking down, wishing her the best and telling her to live her life to the fullest.”
According to United Network for Organ Sharing, over 120,000 Americans are currently awaiting organ and/or tissue transplants. Meanwhile, some are hesitant to sign up to be organ or tissue donors because of misinformation. For example, some people are reluctant to be organ donors because they believe there might be a financial cost to them or to their estate — in reality, there is not financial cost to an organ donor.
— Pieter Malan (@PieterMalan_) January 26, 2016
For Jordan Drake, right now she’s too young to understand the gift that she’s been given. But her mom says that, when she’s old enough to understand, she’ll explain to her daughter how a stranger’s heart beats in her chest, and how another mother’s loss gave her life.
[Image via Shutterstock/sheff]