Having your child die before you is one of the worst nightmares for any parent. But for one particular mother, she turned her nightmare into a dream come true for a young child on the organ donor list.
Heather Clark recently met Jordan Drake, the now 4-year-old girl who received her son Lukas’ heart when she was just 18-months-old. Lukas died of physical abuse at the hands of Clark’s former boyfriend, who is now serving time for the crime.
Clark shared hugs and tears with Jordan and her mother, Esther Gonzalez, before placing a stethoscope to Jordan’s heart and hearing her son’s heart beat again. “It’s hard to describe … that she would be so selfless to be able to think of another family while she’s going through her grief,” says Gonzalez, whose daughter spent years in Phoenix Children’s Hospital with a congenital heart defect. “We’re family now, we’re friends now, our families are families, we’ve brought our families together.”
Jordan was placed on the transplant list after being born with a congenital heart defect that caused seizures, strokes and brain hemorrhaging.
“She had seizures, she had brain bleed, she had a stomach bleed, she had so many issues,” says Gonzalez.
In the three years since the operation took place, Heather, who lives outside of Los Angeles and Jordan’s mother, Esther Gonzales, who resides in Phoenix, corresponded through written letters and social media but have never met.
“I thought, I can’t save my own son, so why not save someone else’s,” confessed Clark. “It’s a miracle that we connected and that Jordan is living happy and healthy with Lukas’ heart beating inside her,” said Heather prior to her meeting with Jordan.
Clark’s son Lukas was only seven months when he died with a babysitter, whose boyfriend allegedly abused the child; the matter is under police investigation, Clark says. The California mom quickly donated his organs to three recipients, including Jordan. “There is another family out there … and I have the chance to make them not go through what I’m about to go through,” she said of her decision. She reached out to Jordan’s family around Thanksgiving and wrote on Facebook about her plan to meet Jordan.
“One week from today I will be listening to Lukas’ heartbeat once again,” Clark wrote. “I will be holding Jordan in my arms showering her with…