Kentucky mother feels daughter’s heartbeat in organ recipient

A Kentucky family got an opportunity to meet the man who received their daughters heart. (Source: WKYT)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/WKYT) - More than 113,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list. One organ donor can save eight lives. A Kentucky family got an opportunity to meet the man who received their daughter’s heart.

Christy Jane Hurst said it was overwhelming to be in the same room as her daughter's heart since her car crash.

Back in 2019, recent high school graduate Jill Hurst was driving home from a football game when she was hit, and later died. She was 18 years old at the time.

Her parents said they knew their daughter wanted her organs to be donated.

"We do miss Jill, but the fact that she's gone, there was not anything that could bring her back," Jill's mother, Christy Jane Hurst said.

Hurst and her husband traveled to Florida to meet the man who received their daughter's heart. They wore pink in honor of the vibrant teenager's favorite color, and red for her heart. She said she and her husband are sad and joyful at the same time, knowing Jill shared life with John Sugrim, his wife and three children.

“We all hugged and cried and it was an emotional moment,” Hurst said. “Some people never get the opportunity to hear their child’s heartbeat again and we had that opportunity.”

Sugrim brought a stethoscope so Jill's family could listen to Jill's heartbeat, and a way for them to bring that sound back to Kentucky.

"It's a teddy bear and it has a recording of Jill's heart beat when you squeeze it's hand," Hurst said.

The bond has lead the Sugrims and the Hursts already to call each other family. Jill's parents said they have comfort in knowing she was laid to rest in in her hometown, but part of her shines brightly in Florida.

For information on organ donation, click or tap here.

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