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Heart Transplant Recipient Meets Donor's Mother

When You Learn What's Happening in This Photo, It'll Move You to Tears

Vicki Brannon's son, Matthew McIntyre, was killed at the tender age of 14 when a friend accidentally fired a .380-caliber handgun at him. That was in 1996. The grieving mother immediately made the decision to donate Matthew's organs, and on the day after his death, his heart was transplanted to 13-year-old Jennifer Lentini, who suffered from heart muscle disease and had been hospitalized for months while waiting for a donor.

Jennifer, now 31, tracked Vicki down via Facebook, and the two arranged to meet in Tampa, FL. Appropriately, the meeting occurred on Valentine's Day, which also happens to be National Donor Day.

"I finally got to say thank you," Jennifer told the New York Daily News. "I grew up with it. I've had my transplant longer than I didn't have it."

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The two embraced, and Vicki held her ear to Jennifer's chest. "I'm going to listen to my son's heart beating. My Matthew is in there," she said.

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