It was an emotional moment for Bill Conner when he heard his late 20-year-old daughter’s heartbeat inside organ recipient Loumonth Jack’s chest. “She saved me, and I can’t repay her,” Jack said. One of the worst things a parent can ever experience is the loss of a child. Unfortunately, Bill Conner endured this pain when his 20-year-old daughter, Abbey, unexpectedly passed away in 2017.
Abbey and her brother, Austin, were enjoying their winter break in Cancun when they were both discovered face down in a resort’s pool. Austin survived the unfortunate event, but sadly, his sister did not. Abbey had an irreversible brain injury that eventually led to her demise. Nevertheless, she died a hero to someone else.
At the age of 16, Abbey had decided to become an organ donor should she meet an unfortunate event. Consequently, she was placed on life support so doctors could get her organs for transplant.
The man she saved was 21-year-old Loumonth Jack Jr., a Louisiana native who suffered a heart attack and severely needed a new heart to live; Abbey was his miracle. Months after her passing, Bill honored his daughter’s life by traveling 2,600 miles on a bike to visit the hospital where his daughter’s organs were donated.
Bill also arranged to meet Jack on Father’s Day while biking towards his destination. As soon as they met, the pair walked towards each other with open arms. He shared:
“Knowing he’s alive because of Abbey; Abbey is alive inside of him. It’s her heart having him stand up straight. I was happy for him and his family, and at the same time, I got to reunite with my daughter.”Bill Conner listens to his daughter’s heartbeat inside the man who received Abbey’s heart.
After a long embrace, Jack handed Bill a stethoscope so he could hear Abbey’s heartbeat. As soon as Bill heard a thump, he and Jack began to tear up. Jack shared: “She saved me, and I can’t repay her. I wish I could, but I can’t. All I can do is send my love to her family.”
Aside from Jack, Abbey saved the lives of four males, aged between 20 and 60. Her eyes and other tissues were also donated to patients who badly needed them. Bill has since put up a GoFundMe page to raise awareness on organ donation and how it can save lives. Funds from the page went to Donate Life America and funded his bike trip in honor of his late daughter.
Abbey’s story has undoubtedly inspired others to be heroes in their own way by being organ donors. Like Abbey, another man was hailed a hero for saving another woman’s life by donating his liver. Cecil Lockhart, 60, became the oldest organ donor in the country when he passed away and gave his liver to a 60-year-old woman.
Lockhart’s son, Stanley, who passed away years ago, inspired him to follow suit and become an organ donor. At the time of Stanley’s death, his tissues saved the lives of 75 people who will always be grateful.