In 2013, Heather suffered the loss of her infant son. Seven-month-old Lukas died while in the care of his babysitter–a tragedy no parent should have to endure. Although Heather was deep in grief, she decided she never wanted another mother to have to go through the agony of losing a child if she could help it. She set out to make a difference, and make a difference she did.
Heather donated Lukas’ organs to three other people in need. One such recipient was four-year-old Jordan, a girl who’d spent most of her life in hospitals because of a congenital heart defect. Heather donated Lukas’ heart to Jordan to give the girl a second chance at life and her mother the chance to save her child.
According to Donate Life, in 2014, over 8,500 deceased donors were able to save 24,000 lives through organ transplants. That’s the good news. The bad news is an average of 21 people die every day because they don’t receive the needed organs in a timely manner. The simple truth is organ donation saves lives.
And while some donors and recipients never get a chance to meet, Lukas’ mother Heather was able to meet Jordan, the girl whose heart had once belonged to Lukas. Jordan’s mother, Jordan, and Heather met on stage before a crowd awed into silence. Both women teared up when they saw each other and hugged for a long time. Then, in the next few moments, Heather slipped the ear pieces of a stethoscope in so she could listen to Jordan’s heartbeat, which meant for the first time in years, Heather heard her son’s heartbeat. Jordan also gave Heather a Clark Build-a-Bear with a recording of Lukas’ heartbeat, so she can hear the sound whenever she wants.
This is only one story from Donate Life that demonstrates how one grieving mother gave another mother (and her daughter) a second chance at life. In a sweet way, Lukas also gets to “live on” in Jordan.