A dad’s journey to reunite with a part of his deceased daughter on Father’s Day has tears rolling down our cheeks — and a nation touched by a story of organ donation.
It had been five months since Bill Conner suddenly lost his 20-year-old daughter, Abbey, and he felt like he had to do something to honor her short life.
On May 22, Conner hopped on a bike and began riding across the country on a journey to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation, sharing his daughter’s story along the way.
“This is what she would want me to do,” Conner told CBS News.
The dad decided to travel from his hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida — to visit Broward Health Medical Center, the hospital that recovered Abbey’s organs for donation in January.
Around the time of Abbey’s death, 21-year-old Loumonth Jack, Jr., from Lafayette, Louisiana, had suffered a heart attack and was given 10 days to live.
Jack needed a miracle — and then came Abbey.
When Conner informed the Florida donation center about his decision to ride on her behalf, the group sent letters to every recipient, asking if they’d be interested in meeting the woman’s father.
“The only person who has responded at this point is Jack Jr., the heart recipient,” Conner said.
Conner was given Jack’s contact information and they arranged to meet in Baton Rouge on Father’s Day.
“Knowing he’s alive because of Abbey, Abbey is alive inside of him — it’s her heart having him stand up straight,” Conner said. “I was happy for him and his family, and at the same time, I got to reunite with my daughter.”
“She saved me and I can’t repay her. I wish I could but I can’t,” Jack told CBS affiliate WAFB in Baton Rouge. “All I can do is send my love to her family.”
And it’s safe to say, that’s exactly what Jack did.