Sue Ellen Monaghan lost her 25-year-old son Tim Conley last year after he hit his head while working at a Home Depot. His sudden death was devastating for Monaghan, who called her son “the love of my life.”
But the grieving mom recently received a priceless gift. She heard her son’s heart beating again -- in the body of another man.
According to the Cox Media Group, Conley, an organ donor, saved the lives of four people after his death, including 52-year-old Jon Claflin, who received the young man’s heart.
Claflin had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2012. His wife told the Portland Press Herald that he had “literally” been in the emergency room when they were told that a heart donor had been found.
“It’s the strangest dichotomy,” she told the news outlet, “where you get this incredible, awesome news that saved [Jon] but as the result of what [the donor’s family] had to go through.”
At the end of April, after exchanging emails, Claflin and his family had an emotional meeting with Monaghan.
Claflin expressed his gratitude for the second chance at life that Conley’s heart had given him; and at one point, Monaghan pulled out a stethoscope and, weeping, listened to her son's heart beating inside Claflin’s chest as he held her close.
“Part of my son is still alive,” Monaghan told the Press Herald. “So you can say that my son passed away on October 31, but he is still living in Jon Claflin. His heart is still beating, and I’m his mother, and that to me is everything. It’s everything.”
To find out more about organ donation and how you can become a donor, visit OrganDonor.gov.