A mother whose daughter tragically died in an accident was able to save the life of another young girl by donating her daughter’s heart.
Debbie Stoner’s daughter Jade died in a car accident while riding her bike when she was seven years old. At a hospital, Jade was pronounced brain-dead, leaving Debbie to make the difficult decision to allow Jade’s organs to be donated to children who needed them, according to Newsiosity.
One of the children, who needed a heart, was an orphaned baby named Nellie. Doctors said that without a new heart, Nellie would have died within days, but refused to go ahead with the surgery because the baby didn’t have parents to take care of her while she recovered.
A couple named Jeff and Sarah Evans agreed to become Nellie’s foster parents, allowing her to receive the life-saving heart transplant. Jeff, who said he never knew who the donor of the heart that saved his adoptive daughter’s life was, finally found out that it was Debbie, 10 years later, and was able to thank her.
“Without Jade, Nel would’ve been dead within a few days,” said Jeff. Debbie came to visit the family, and reportedly listened to Jade’s heart beating in 10-year-old Nellie’s chest.
“When I listened, I thought about Jade and how much I miss her,” Debbie said, according to the Mirror. “The first time I’d heard Jade’s heart beating was when I was pregnant with her at my ultrasound scan and it sounded just as strong.”
“It’s really hard to explain my feelings. I knew her heart was no longer Jade’s because she’s no longer here but it was a part of her,” she continued. “It gave me goosebumps. I was crying but they weren’t tears of sadness. Although I lost the most precious thing in my life she is continuing to live on, in a way.”
Sarah and Jeff said that watching Debbie listen to her deceased daughter’s heart beating inside Nellie was a very emotional experience.
“It was quite spontaneous as we were just about to leave and it was something I assumed she’d want to do but maybe she didn’t want to ask,” said Sarah. “I didn’t want her to leave and not hear it. When I asked her, she put her hands to her face, started crying and said: ‘Are you sure?'”
“I was pleased we could do it because thank you will never be enough.”