Wisconsin dad bikes to Louisiana to meet his daughter's heart recipient
BATON ROUGE, La. (WJBK) - It's been a difficult year for a Wisconsin family after losing their 20-year-old daughter in an accident in January.
Abbey was found unresponsive in a resort pool while on vacation in Cancun. She had irreversible brain damage. Her family made the decision to donate her organs.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, 21-year-old Loumonth Jack Jr. suffered a heart attack.
"I couldn't grasp it. I'm like, 'Nah, I'm not even thinking I'm sick," he says.
Doctors told Loumonth's family if he didn't receive a heart transplant, he would likely die in 10 days. That's when Abbey would forever become a part Loumonth's life.
"Seeing my daughter on life support and then finding out that they were matches, that four of her organs were already matched up and ready to be harvested, made it a little bit easier, that we were helping somebody in need," Abbey's dad, Bill Conner, says.
Nearly six months have now gone by, and Bill decided he would take a journey to meet the man who now has his daughter's heart. So, he hopped on a bicycle and traveled 1,400 miles to meet Loumonth.
You can see video of the emotional meeting in the video player above.
"She's alive. Jack's alive and she's alive; it's her heart," Bill says.
"She saved me and I can't repay her. I wish I could but I can't, and all I can do is send my love to [Bill's] family," Loumonth says.
Abbey's organs went on to save four other adults that Bill hopes to meet someday, too.
After meeting the Jack family Bill also biked the 1,400 miles back home.