Bill Conner lost his 20 year old daughter Abigail to a tragic accident last January. Now the heartbroken father has cycled over 2, 000 miles (2253 kilometres) to hear her donated heart beat again.
Travelling from his home in Wisconsin to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Mr Conner met with Loumonth Jack, the man whose life was saved by Abigail’s organ donation. Mr Jack had a rapidly deteriorating heart condition, and the donation from Abigail saved his life. “She saved me and I can’t repay her,” he said. “I wish I could but I can’t. All I can do is send my love to her family,” he told the press.
“Knowing he’s alive because of Abbey, Abbey is alive inside of him – it’s her heart having him stand straight up,” Mr Conner said.
By trekking across the country, Conner’s goal is to bring awareness on the impact of organ donation and how important the decision to donate can give someone else a second chance at life. Conner rode six days a week and averaged 60-65 miles (96 – 104 km) a day, while using his rest days to ask people to register online to become organ donors.
The two men met on Father’s Day, and embraced before a tearful Conner used a stethoscope to hear Abbey’s heart beating inside Mr Jack’s chest. Conner says that the moment was extremely moving, “I was happy for him and his family, and at the same time, I got to reunite with my daughter.”
Conner was able to take a recording of the heartbeat so that he can now carry it with him for the rest of his life. The determined father has pledged to continue his ride to raise awareness about organ donation.
How to Register
If you want to know more about organ donation, or wish to register your intentions you can do so by visiting the following pages:
USA – registerme.org
You can also learn more about organ donation by listening to The Gifted Life podcast. It is the only active podcast about donation, and is a great source of information and inspiring stories for followers all around the word. It’s available on all major podcast apps or at lopa.org/podcast.
All images and footage courtesy of Donate Life Louisiana