Mother hears son's donated heart beat in Navy veteran's chest
Tuesday, February 13th 2018
SALEM, VA (WSLS/CNN) – A mother who lost her son two years ago is now talking about her experience hearing his heart beat in another man’s chest and encouraging other families to consider organ donation.
Melinda Dillon remembers her son, 21-year-old Lucas, as full of life and energy. She says he had many friends, but most didn’t know about Lucas’ decade-long struggle with mental illness until he took his own life.
"His blood type and mine both were B-positive and part of his notation to us when he committed suicide was to stay positive,” Dillon said. "It's been hard. It's hard to stay positive."
Dillon got her son’s last message tattooed on her wrist along with his heartbeat, a rhythm she was able to hear in another man’s chest after Lucas’ heart was donated.
"If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't even be talking to you right now,” said Dave, a 56-year-old Navy veteran, who was suffering from congestive heart failure.
Lucas’ heart now beats in Dave’s chest, something for which the 56-year-old says he’s thankful for every day.
"I was gone. I was dead gone, you know. I wasn't supposed to be here. Before Lucas, I wasn't supposed to be here,” Dave said.
Dillon reached out to Dave, and they met in person, where the mother was able to hear Lucas’ donated heart, beating in Dave’s chest.
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