As a writer, I believe in the power of words, but there are moments in life when words simply fail us. Not even the most moving, poetic of syllables strung together can come close to capturing the power and emotions that can exist in life.
And this is definitely one of those moments.
Our story begins in 2013, when Heather Clark lost her son, Lukas Clark, just seven months after he was born. Clark, a beautiful and beaming brown-haired little boy, was killed by alleged child abuse at the hands of a non-family member, People reports, a tragedy that happens more often than we realize.
Clark made the decision to donate her son’s organs, a decision that she told People was not easy. “I knew I couldn’t do anything with his organs once he passed away, so I thought why not save someone else’s life,” she said. “But when I signed off permission, I knew my baby was 100 percent gone. And that was so hard.”
But she did it, and her son’s organs went to three separate children in need, one of whom was then-18-month-old Jordan Drake, who had been born with mitral valve regurgitation. Drake would have died without a new heart and her mother, Esther Gonzalez, received the ultimate gift from another parent who would never get to hold her baby again.
“Heather was going through the most pain and sadness of her life and she was brave and selfless to think of others at that time,” Gonzalez told People. “She made that insanely hard decision, and we are so thankful to her and her son.”
Because organ donations are anonymous, Clark and Gonzalez actually connected through a Facebook message on Thanksgiving Day in 2015, after trying unsuccessfully for years to find each other. The mothers decided to get together so that Clark could hear her little boy’s heart for the first time in three years — beating on strong and proud — in the chest of Jordan.
The moment was recorded and shared around the world, and if you haven’t seen the video yet, just be warned that you will bawl your eyes out. One of the best parts is that little Jordan, the organ recipient, is completely unaware of the magnitude of the event. Somehow, it makes the moment even more precious. She’s just chilling and twirling around both mothers, and there’s something so incredible in realizing that her boundless energy and life is so real — because of the woman standing next to her. A woman who bears a tattoo of her son’s face on her arm as a reminder of the life he lived and the life he has given. Jordan is just a kid having fun, but she’s been given such a selfless gift.
And as she hears a literal piece of her son live on in another, Clark’s shoulders shake with sobs. Gonzalez looks up at Clark and says only three simple words: “That’s your baby.”
The love is there — in her cries for her son, in her memories that they shared together, in a life that gave so much in such a short time, and in a heart that beats on in another.
It’s a love of a mother’s heart, which was big enough to give the only heart it beat for, so that another mother might have a reason to keep on living.
If you would like to become an organ donor, you can register here.More On