Amber Morgan heard her daughter’s heartbeat and it was a miraculous comfort for the grieving mom.
Of course, she’s heard the heartbeat at other times but this time was particularly special.
The Chicago Tribune wrote about the moment Amber was able to listen to what she thought she might never hear again. “She remembers first hearing the heartbeat of her daughter Andreona when she was pregnant, and again when Andreona was on life support at age 20, battling asthma complications that ultimately led to her passing.”
Her daughter was only 20 years old when she passed away in 2018.
It’s been five years but Amber was able to meet with the recipient of Andreona’s donated heart, Tom Johnson, in an emotional meeting. Andreona’s heart beats on now in Tom’s chest.
“It was a moment for the families to celebrate both Andreona’s life and Tom’s new one after his long struggles with heart problems.”
“It’s almost like I got to hug my daughter again,” she said.
The AP News reports that the meeting was arranged by The Indiana Donor Network. It’s a rare occurrence when this can work out but Amber used a stethoscope pressed against Tom’s chest to hear the heartbeat she’d taken for granted before losing her daughter.
“As a mother, you listen to your child’s heartbeat when you carry them, and I don’t think you ever ask to hear it again,” Morgan said. “It’s amazing.”
Tom sent letters to Morgan hoping to express his gratitude for the gift of her daughter’s heart. Meetings like this occur only when the donor families agree to meet recipients of their loved one’s organs.
Tom, 68, was thrilled to be able to thank Amber in person and allow her to hear her daughter’s heartbeat.
“This is just a big blessing for me to meet Amber,” Tom said. “I was praying virtually every night that this would happen. I always referred to my donor, and now I have a name. It’s just unbelievable beyond words.”
Amber shared memories of how generous Andreona was, always helping others in need and hosting food-drives in low-income areas. Donating her organs in death was a natural outpouring of her giving nature in life.
“She’s living through him,” Morgan said. “Now she’s able do all the things that she couldn’t really do for similar reasons as him. She would also run out of breath, but hers was asthma.”
Tom is not taking this heartbeat for granted. He’s living life to the fullest and following his doctor’s instructions about how to care for this beautiful gift.
The reunion was a time of healing, joy, and new beginnings for both families.
If you would like to learn how to be an organ donor, information can be found at Organdonor.gov.