Valentine’s Day is all about love, and one of the strongest examples of love exists in the bond between a mother and a child.
When a mother loses a child, it can be devastating. But that love continues on, and a mother never forgets.
When a Hermitage, Tennessee, mother lost her son, she thought she would never hear from him again.
But two years after his death, she would get to hear him again in the most amazing of ways.
Wendy Hartley was able to hear her late son Kevin Hartley’s heart beating again this Valentine’s Day. Kevin was taken from her at the tender age of 21 after a tragic chemical poisoning from refinishing a bathtub claimed his life, according to WKRN.
HIs mother decided to donate her son’s organs, and as a result, Kevin was able to save four lives and help many others. His heart was among the organs they saved, and it was given to another person who needed it.
This year, Hartley finally was able to meet the woman who has her son’s heart and listen to it beat once again.
“I’m excited, nervous,” she told WSMV. “This is my son’s heart.”
Kevin’s heart was given to Rhonda Lucas, a Johnson City nurse whose heart was failing.
Lucas had just hours to live, and Kevin’s heart would save her.
For Hartley, meeting Lucas for the first time on Valentine’s Day gave her the opportunity to be with her son just one more time and hear that precious heartbeat once again. The two met at the unveiling of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s organ donor memorial.
“This is my son’s heart that is keeping someone else alive, and that’s just amazing that that can happen,” Hartley said.
“I feel like I’m closer to Kevin, I feel like I have a sister, another sister in the family,” Lucas said.
Upon meeting, to two embraced in a hug that lasted for a full 37 seconds.
“I’ve got the rhythm. I know that rhythm. To hear it again, it’s amazing. It’s amazing,” Hartley said when she listened the heartbeat.
Lucas is appreciative for the life-saving gift she received and all the love that came along with it. “I would hope we’d be like sisters because she’s like another family member to me,” she told WSMV.
Both Hartley and Lucas know that organ donation does save lives and helps families keep their loved ones around a little bit longer.
This is one moment that won’t be forgotten by Hartley or Lucas, as both women received a gift that shows love can live on in the most miraculous of ways.
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