On Jan. 29, Heather Clark and Esther Gonzalez met at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona to celebrate the life and gift of 7-month-old Lukas Clark. Lukas died in 2013 at only 7 months old. After his death, his mother decided to donate his organs so that other families could benefit. One of the recipients is Jordan Drake, 4.
“I knew if Lukas could prevent another family from experiencing the loss that I felt, that’s what I needed to do,” Clark said.
Three years ago, Drake was just 18 months old and fighting for her life. She was born with a congenital heart defect that caused seizures, a stroke and bleeding in the brain. Doctors told Gonzalez that her daughter needed a heart transplant to survive. Drake got the heart she needed thanks to Clark’s decision to donate her son’s organs.
Clark was able to listen to her son’s heart beating in Drake’s chest and Drake presented her with a stuffed bear that had the heartbeat recorded.
Clark said she plans to keep in touch with Gonzalez and Drake.
An average of 79 people receive organ transplants every day, but 22 people die waiting for an organ according to Organ Donor. Most organ donations are successful with almost 80 percent of recipients living at least five years after their receive a new heart.
Both moms hope their story encourages other families to donate.
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