If there is one moment California mum Heather Clark will never forget, it is hearing her late son’s heart beat loudly and rhythmically inside little Jordan Drake’s chest.
In a heartwarming and tender meeting last week, the bereaved mum was able to listen to her son Lukas’ heartbeat for the first time since he passed away in 2013. With a stethoscope pressed to the chest of the 4-year-old girl who received his heart, Clark could finally hear for herself how her little boy’s heart was keeping Jordan alive.
“The sound was so strong,” Clark, 25, told People magazine. “I could feel him there with me. He is continuing on through her, no doubt.”
In a meeting that left everyone in tears, Clark was introduced to Esther Gonzalez and her daughter Jordan Drake, Lukas’ heart transplant recipient, who offered to let the grieving mother listen to her son’s heartbeat.
“In that moment, it was just me and him, we had been on this long journey together and we both knew this was the end point,” Clark explains. “He’s gone, but he will keep living through Jordan forever.”
The young mum says it was a “difficult decision to sign the donor paperwork,” while Lukas – who was only 7-months-old when he died from complications of alleged child abuse at the hands of a non-family member – was in the hospital.
“I knew I couldn’t do anything with his organs once he passed away, so I thought why not save someone else’s life,” she says. “But when I signed off permission, I knew my baby was 100 percent gone. And that was so hard.”
But when she met Jordan – the “happiest and most energetic little girl” on Friday – she knew she had made the right choice.
“Lukas has given Jordan this chance at life and I know he is looking down, wishing her the best and telling her to live her life to the fullest,” she says.
Little Jordan was born with a heart condition called mitral valve regurgitation, and was only 15 months old in 2013 when doctor’s informed her parents she would need a heart transplant to survive.
We were so scared,” Gonzalez, 34, tells the magazine. “We thought she would never get a heart.”
However, after waiting for only a month, they received news of Lukas’ organs.
“Heather was going through the most pain and sadness of her life and she was brave and selfless to think of others at that time,” she says. “She made that insanely hard decision, and we are so thankful to her and her son.”
Jordan mother explains how her daughter doesn’t quite “understand who Lukas is”, but plans to explain everything to her daughter when she gets older.
“I’m going to tell her that Lukas saved her life. It’s a story about a mothers sacrifice and a little boys sacrifice. It’s important for her to know about Lukas and to know that he gave up a lot for her to live.”
The two mums plan to stay in each others lives now since meeting.
“We tell each other we love each other, because we are in this life together now,” says Gonzalez. “Lukas will always be here in Jordan. It’s beautiful.”
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