A Texas father who lost two children recently got to hear his son’s heartbeat again — through the woman whose life was saved by his organ donation.
Jordan Spahn, of Houston, was left heartbroken in October 2018 when his 21-year-old son, Matthew Spahn, was struck by a car on a dark road in Brenham and died 10 days later from his injuries, CBS affiliate KHOU reported.
“He was just walking home,” Jordan told KHOU. “It was just a very tragic accident.”
Months after the devastating loss, Spahn’s family faced another similar tragedy. This time, Jordan’s 25-year-old son Jonah Spahn was killed after being hit by a car on a Bellville highway in February 2019, local radio station KWHI reported.
At the time of Matthew’s death, the former Brenham High School track star was registered as an organ donor, KHOU reported.
After his family said their final goodbyes on Oct. 17, 2018, Matthew’s donated organs ultimately saved five people’s lives, according to the outlet.
But it wasn’t until recently that Jordan got to connect with one of those fortunate people.
Last week, Jordan’s fiancée Summer Mossbarger posted on Facebook, saying she and Jordan had the opportunity to meet with Kristi Russ, a “very special lady” who received Matthew’s heart.
Russ, of League City, was suffering from chronic heart failure until she received the life-saving organ, according to KHOU.
“I’m not sure how many know that Matthew Spahn was an organ donor and he was able to save 5 lives with 7 organs and countless others with skin and tissue,” Summer wrote in the post. “Kristi Richard Russ was the recipient of Matthew’s heart and she is such a sweet, grateful woman that is truly so thankful for the gift of life Matthew gave.”
Alongside the post, Mossbarger shared an emotional video that captured the moment Jordan was able to listen to his late son’s heartbeat for the very first time since his tragic passing.
“It’s so strong,” he told Russ in the clip, which was also posted on YouTube, as he held up a stethoscope to her chest.
Mossbarger shared a number of snaps from the tearjerking encounter, including one of Russ and Jordan smiling as he held up a photo of what appears to be his two sons.
Speaking to KHOU about their meeting, Jordan said getting to hear his son’s heartbeat was more than he could ever imagine.
“It’s almost like getting to see Matthew again,” he told the outlet through tears. “I know his heart continues to beat.”
He also explained that being able to listen to the heartbeat provided some much-needed solace in what has been an incredibly difficult time for him and his family.
“You’ve got your ups and downs. You’ve got your questions. You wonder about the timing,” Jordan told the outlet. “When it was all said and done with, we figured out exactly why things happen the way they do.”
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As for Russ, the moment was equally as moving, despite not knowing Matthew personally.
“You’re very thankful because you know without it, I would have never survived. I was on borrowed time,” Russ explained to KHOU. “He still lives on. It’s his heart that’s just in my body. Anytime they want to hear him, I’m a text away.”
Both families are now urging others to consider signing up to be an organ donor so that more people have a second chance at life.
“Not only was [Matthew] a gift to loved ones, he was a gift to strangers… A hero to all,” Mossbarger wrote in a description of her YouTube video, adding on Facebook, “If you aren’t an organ donor I ask that you consider the gift of life.”
Those interested in becoming an organ donor can learn more information here.