Father Hears Daughter's Heart Inside Boy

| by Nicholas Roberts
Alj JeffriesAlj Jeffries

A Florida man who lost his son and daughter after they were struck by a drunk driver met a North Carolina teenager who received his daughter's heart.

Alj Jeffries, 14, of Burlington, North Carolina, had been battling heart disease for years.  He had been slowly dying in the hospital until March, when he received a successful heart transplant, according to WGHP.

Alj, along with his mother and brother, met the family of Shawn Zimmerman, whose 14-year-old daughter, Katelyn, and younger son were struck and killed by a drunk driver while riding bikes near their home in Inverness, Florida.

The Zimmerman family made the tough decision to donate their children's organs.

Katelyn's heart went to Alj, whose life was saved through surgery on March 10.

"Thank you for the gift of being able to see more in life. Thank you for letting me have a second chance," Alj read in a letter he wrote to the Zimmerman family.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for being my miracle."

Alj's mother, Tina, said: "My gratitude can't be put into words. I know how much you sacrificed to give another a brand-new life."

During the emotional gathering, Zimmerman put on a stethoscope and his daughter's heart pumping strongly in Alj's chest.

"It put us at peace knowing that Katelyn's heart is still beating even though it's not in her," Zimmerman told Alj's family.

Concluding, Alj said, "... it's been a long journey, and we've got a new journey ahead of us."

Sources: WGHP, Daily Mail / Photo credit: WHGP via Daily Mail

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