Mother meets her baby's heart recipient - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Mother meets her baby's heart recipient

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The families meet for the first time. (Source; Kosair Children's Hospital) The families meet for the first time. (Source; Kosair Children's Hospital)
Karlie (Source: Kosair Children's Hospital) Karlie (Source: Kosair Children's Hospital)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A story of heartbreak for one family turns into one of hope for another. A Clarksville mother lost her 9-month-old three years ago, but she made the decision to donate her baby's organs and save the life of a dying child.

Baby Karlie was the victim of child abuse, shaken and beaten by her mother's friend. Since this tragedy, Karlie's mother and grandmother have been on a mission to get child abuse stopped. 

"About a week ago, Kosair Children's Hospital flew us, my mother and I, to Chicago to meet the little boy who received Karlie's heart through me donating her heart and some of her other organs," said Kara Mellick, victim's mother.

Mellick and her mother, Allison Ellis, had the chance to hear Karlie's heart beat once again. 

"It kind of brought back the very first memory of when I heard her heart beat, the first time when I was pregnant with her in the doctor's office," said Mellick. 

Because of a selfless decision, a little boy named Feris gets a second chance at life, a gift his family will always be thankful for. 

"He's doing good. They saved our family," said Feris' father. 

Two families, forever changed, joined together by a precious little girl's beating heart. On Karlie's behalf, this mother and daughter continue to fight to get child abuse stopped. 
 
On Wednesday at Kosair Children's Hospital, they spoke on behalf of "Partnership to Eliminate Child Abuse" and shared their story.
 
"Don't bury a little child because of abuse, like our family did," said Ellis. "Karlie Renee Mellick was my granddaughter."

"My ultimate goal is to try to prevent child abuse, not only across the state, but nationwide, and if that's getting my story out and reliving the story, than I'm willing to do so," said Mellick.

The family says a 5-year-old in California received Karlie's liver, pancreas, and her intestines.
 
The man accused of beating and shaking Karlie is now serving a 17 year prison term for manslaughter. 

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