Family Sheds Tears While Hearing Son's Heartbeat In A Vietnam Veteran's Chest

November 27, 2014

A Minnesota family is shedding tears and giving thanks for being able to hear the heartbeat of their late son again.

Matthew Heisler died in a tragic house fire earlier this year. His parents donated the 21-year-old's organs for transplant.

Matthew's heart went to a Vietnam veteran named Tom Meeks who had been waiting three years for a new heart. This week, eight months after his transplant, Meeks traveled from his home in Washington state to Minnesota and let Matthew's parents and sister listen to Matthew's heart now beating in his chest.

Matthew was a student at the university of North Dakota and signed up to be an organ donor when he was 16. When he was killed in the house fire last March, his parents fulfilled his wish to donate his organs.

"He made the decision that if life ever slipped away from him, he would give life to someone else," said his father.

Two women each got one of Matt's kidneys and a 61-year-old man got the life-saving gift of Matt's liver.

After listening to Matt's heart this week, his father called it awesome. Now he says Matt lives on in others.

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