Mom donated son's heart, hears it beating again for first time in recipient's chest
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The tragic death of an infant boy from California saved the life of a young Arizona girl and today the parents of both children got together for the first time.
It all started when a mother left her infant son with the babysitter who she trusted.
That little boy ended up abused by the sitter's boyfriend and tragically died, but that tragedy has turned to hope for another family.
The infant boy died in 2013 and shortly after the boy’s mother says she didn't think twice about donating her son’s organs to save another child.
Today the families gathered with the donor network of Arizona at Phoenix Children’s Hospital to meet each other for the first time since the tragedy and life-saving surgery.
"There is another family out there, somewhere, you know who’s feeling something of what I'm feeling, somewhat, and I have the chance to make them not go through what I'm about to go through," said Heather Clark of the decision to donate her son’s organs.
Heather Clark made that brave decision to donate her 7-month-old son Lukas' organs after he tragically passed away in June 2013.
"He was just so outgoing, he was just a little ham,” said Clark. “If there was a camera in front of him he was either smiling or sticking his tongue out."
Clark says Lukas, her miracle baby for a first time mother, saved three lives with his organ donation.
One of those lives is that of 4-year-old Jordan drake, who has spent most of her life inside these same walls of Phoenix Children’s Hospital due to a congenital heart defect.
"It's hard to describe… that she would be so selfless to be able to think of another family while she's going through her grief," said Esther Gonzalez.
Lukas now lives on in Jordan.
She received his heart, which was the miracle she needed to survive, on June 22, 2013.
"We're family now, we're friends now, our families are families, we've brought our families together," says Gonzalez.
Clark got to listen to her son’s heart beating inside Jordan’s chest, hearing the gift of life her son gave.
"He was just on the move, rolling, scooting, however he could get there, and that's Jordan, just always going," Clark said.
Both mothers say they'll never forget this day.
Now with this teddy bear that has an audio recording of Lukas's heart, Clark will never have to forget the sound of her son living on....and his life saving sacrifice.
"The only thing I can think of is, I can't save my own son so why not save someone else’s child because I can't do anything with him."
Clark tells us she can’t say much about the circumstances surrounding her son’s death because a criminal investigation is still pending, but she does say it is being investigated as a child abuse case.
As for the two mothers, they say they will find a way to meet up and see each other on a regular basis.
Video Courtesy: Donor Network of America