Organ donors are some of the most selfless people in the world, so it’s always emotional when someone who received an organ from a donor can meet their family.
That’s what happened when 22-year-old Katherine Herrmann met the family of an organ donor who gave her a new heart. Hermann received her new heart last summer, after having a lifetime of heart problems and 20 surgeries, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
She was born with a rare heart disease called Shone’s complex shortly after her birth, and she was just one month old when she had to have her first open-heart surgery.
After being diagnosed with heart failure at 18, she received a heart transplant after being put on the waiting list.
Herrmann ended up getting a heart from a deceased donor named Desiree Burge earlier this summer. The Cleveland Clinic posted a video of Hermann meeting Burge’s family, and it’s equal parts sweet and emotional. You can tell that both Hermann and Burge’s father were thankful to meet each other.
In the video, Hermann tells them that she recently ran a 5K race, which is something she has never done before, and was something that was impossible to do before her surgery.
“Nothing would have been able to happen without that gift,” Herrmann said of her new heart in the video.
The Cleveland Clinic said that as an organ donor, Burge was able to save five lives. “We know she made a difference, and we find comfort and pride in that,” her father told the Cleveland Clinic.
It’s a great reminder that signing up to be an organ donor really does have incredible benefits. You never know if you could end up saving another life one day.
You can watch the emotional video above. Video via Cleveland Clinic via Storyful.