At the young age of only fourteen years old, Matthew McIntyre was shot and killed in a tragic shooting accident. He left behind his mother, Vicki Brannon. When Matthew McIntyre passed away, his mother chose to donate his organs in hopes of helping others.
She never knew where those organs went until she was contacted by a young woman, Jennifer Lentini. In 1996, at the age of thirteen Jennifer Lentini received a heart transplant that saved her life. She had been diagnosed with a heart muscle disease. This is when Jennifer Lentini and Vicki Brannon’s lives unknowingly intersected. The heart Jennifer Lentini had been given belonged to Vicki Brannon’s son.
Jennifer Lentini’s transplant was successful and she had always wanted to thank the family of the person’s heart she had received. Eighteen years after the transplant she was finally was able to make contact with Matthew McIntyre’s mother on Facebook.
They arranged a meeting and Jennifer Lentini flew to Vicki Brannon’s home in Tampa, Florida to finally give the thanks she felt she owed. Once the two women met, Vicki Brannon was able to listen to her son’s heart beating one last time, even if it was in Jennifer Lentini’s body. Both women were very touched by the experience, wept, hugged, and held hands. For Jennifer Lentini the experience taught her the meaning of gifts and to see the light even in the worse experiences. She was simply happy she finally got to say thank you.