When a mom held the guy who got her late daughter’s heart in a transplant procedure, she heard it beat again.

Amber Morgan of South Bend, Indiana, lost her 20-year-old daughter Andre’Ona Rae Williams on December 17, 2018, after she suffered an asthma attack and collapsed. Williams was survived by a brother and a sister.

Morgan, 48, says, Andre’Ona was terribly allergic to practically all. If she could, she would have kept her in a bubble.

Morgan discovered Williams was an organ donor after her daughter died. She was a proud mother, she adds. She had a golden heart.

Tom Johnson, 68, of Kankakee, Illinois, received Williams’ heart.

Johnson had been waiting for a heart transplant since 2017. He was a former respiratory therapist and information technology analyst who was diagnosed with Idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis at the age of 11. Johnson had a pacemaker and a defibrillator in his adult life, but when he developed congestive heart failure, physicians advised a heart transplant.

Johnson got a call from Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, on December 18, 2018.

Johnson says that they said they have a heart for him. Johnson underwent a transplant surgery the next day. Johnson was hospitalized for months after a difficult recovery in which he developed renal and respiratory failure (typical consequences of heart transplant surgery). He worried about the individual whose death had spared his life while he healed over the next year.

Johnson was able to write a letter to Morgan with the assistance of the Indiana Donor Network and Loyola University Medical Center.

Many donor families report that communication with one another helps them to know that somebody is living due to their loved one, an Indiana Donor Network spokeswoman states. It is critical for them to know that the receiver is doing well and caring for the organ that was donated to them. It provides donor families with a feeling of legacy and assurance that their loved one will always be remembered.

Johnson praised Morgan for her gift in his letter and recounted his joy at regaining the stamina to play soccer with his grandkids following the transplant.

Morgan considers Johnson’s letter to be “wonderful.”

She intended to meet him, she adds, but it didn’t feel like the proper moment given Johnson’s recuperation. Then COVID struck, and Morgan suffered a heart attack.

This is it, stop putting it off, I eventually said. It’s finally time to meet Tom, she claims

They scheduled a rendezvous at a Chicago hotel on November 19 with Johnson’s wife Sharon and Morgan’s 6-year-old granddaughter Avery-Williams’ niece.

Morgan and Johnson had no idea the other had a stethoscope in their baggage.

They embraced in the hotel lobby.

It seemed like their hearts were intertwined, Johnson adds. For a second, it seemed like she was holding Andre’Ona again, Morgan remarked.

During the two-hour meeting, the new pals became acquainted and discussed Williams. They made plans for the summer, including a possible visit to The Bean, a Chicago art landmark that was on Williams’ bucket list.

Tom is incredible – he acquired another family member, Morgan adds.

Johnson admits that carrying Andre’Ona’s heart is a burden.

By Admin