September 2017 Abbey's Heart Lives On
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20-year-old Abbey Conner died tragically while on holiday in Mexico with her family in January. Five months later, her father Bill decided to do something to honour her short life. On May 22, Conner, a passionate cyclist, jumped on his bike and began riding across the country. He decided to travel 2,600 miles - from his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida - to visit Broward Health Medical Centre, the hospital that recovered Abbey's organs for donation back in January.
1400 miles into his journey, he met 21-year-old Loumonth Jack, Jr., who only survived because Abbey had donated her organs, and her heart was donated to save his life. When Conner met Jack he felt like he already knew him.
"Knowing he's alive because of Abbey, Abbey is alive inside of him - it's her heart having him stand up straight," Conner said. "I was happy for him and his family, and at the same time, I got to reunite with my daughter." After sharing an embrace, Jack pulled out a stethoscope so Conner could hear his daughter's heartbeat for the first time since she died in January. Both men began to tear up. The family made a recording of Jack's heart so Conner could listen to it as he rides. After spending a little more time with Jack, Conner continued on his journey to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation, sharing his daughter's story along the way.