A Mississippi mother whose son died made a shocking discovery when she found out his heart had been donated to a family member.
Adrian Murry lost her son in a work accident in September 2015. Her son, Kendrick, was an organ donor, and Adrian had designated his kidney to be donated to Michael Minor, a pastor at her church, but she still wanted to know where Kendrick's heart was, according to WDAM.
"I said 'I want to know where his heart is,'" said Adrian. "I designated the kidney. That was fine. But I wanted to know where his heart is, and I would be OK.”
It turned out that Adrian didn't need to look far. Clintoria Johnson, Adrian's cousin, had been waiting for a transplant for almost two years. Her heart was functioning at only 10 percent, she said.
"It had gotten where, the last time I went to the doctor, they said ‘we’re going to have to put you in a hospital and give you a vac,'" Johnson said. "That’s how bad my heart had gotten that Friday."
When doctors finally called to tell her a transplant was available, neither she nor Adrian knew that the heart she would be receiving was Kendrick's.
"They called me and asked how quick I could get to Jackson," Johnson said. "I said as quick as I can. You tell me the time, I’ll be there.”
Adrian said it was a surprise to learn that Johnson was the recipient of her son's heart. She described seeing Johnson at family gatherings with oxygen tubes, but not realizing that she needed a transplant.
"I didn’t know she was on the list," Adrian said. "I didn’t know what she needed. I really didn’t know what was wrong."
Johnson and Adrian discovered Johnson's donor had been Kendrick after receiving a letter from the donation agency. Donation agencies are allowed to "facilitate anonymous correspondence and meetings initiated by either the donor family or recipient and only if agreed to by both parties." If both parties agree, the agency may release the names of the donors after the family and recipient have been in contact anonymously, according to the Dayton Daily News.
"That means a lot to me," Adrian said about her son's donation. "That means that he set out to do what he said which is bring people to Christ and save lives, and that’s exactly what he did and what he’s doing."