In January, Abbey Connor was found unconscious at the bottom of a hotel pool in Cancun, Mexico. When she was taken to a Fort Lauderdale hospital, it was discovered that the young woman suffered irreparable brain damage from the drowning she sustained. Her organs were harvested, and her heart donated to 21-year-old Loumonth Jack Jr., who had been diagnosed with a fatal heart condition in the same week that Abbey passed away.
He had been given ten days to live if he did not receive a donor heart.
Abbey’s father, Bill Connor, had reached out to all of the recipients of his daughter’s organs. Not a single one replied-except for Jack, Jr. The transplant had been completely successful, and Jack, Jr. had recovered fully from the surgery by the time the two of them got into contact.
The pair agreed to meet on Father’s Day in Baton Rouge, Louisiana after staying in contact for some time. To raise awareness of the importance of organ donation, Bill Connor bicycled the 2,000 mile journey from Madison, Wisconsin, all the way to Louisiana. It was there that he heard his daughter’s heartbeat for the first time since she’d died.
Upon meeting, the two men shared an emotional hug that didn’t end for a whole minute. And then Jack, Jr. provided Bill with a stethoscope to hear Abbey’s heart beating inside of his chest.
With tears in his eyes and a smile on his face, the grieving father said, “It sounds like it’s working.”