TORONTO – A Minnesota family found comfort following a tragic death in hearing their son’s heart beating in another man’s chest.
Matthew Heisler, a University of North Dakota student, died following a house fire in March.
In an interview with NBC News, Heisler’s sister recalled the night the family was informed of the 21-year-old’s death.
“Do you have the right guy, are you sure it’s Matt?,” Casey Heisler said. “I thought I was dreaming.”
When Matthew was 16 years old, he signed up to be an organ donor.
“He made the decision that if life ever slipped away from him, he would give life to someone else,” Matthew’s father Jared said.
Matthew’s heart helped save Vietnam War veteran Tom Meeks, who had waited for a transplant since 2011.
Eight months after Matthew’s death, the Heisler family heard his heart beating again, this time inside Meeks’ chest.
Using a stethoscope, the Heisler family took turns listening to Meeks’ chest.
“This is awesome,” Jared said.