No doubt, hearts were beating a little faster during an emotional meeting in Rochester (April 11).
The heart that 66-year-old Claude Brown of Burt, Niagara County, carries inside his chest, was born beating inside the chest of Ricky Wieland. His parents, Debbie and Rick Wieland, traveled to Rochester from Cincinnati, Ohio, to finally meet the man who received their son's heart.
The 22-year-old died in a fatal car crash four years ago.
"You look wonderful," Debbie Wieland said to Brown when they met in a hotel conference room. Brown said, "I've got a great heart, believe me."
Claude Brown was lucky enough to enjoy seeing many family milestones because of the heart transplant. He was suffering from congestive heart failure for years. "I was able to see three grandchildren born, one wedding, and a lot of fun times with the family," said a teary-eyed Brown.
Ricky Wieland, Ohio National Guardsman, had told his parents he wanted to be an organ donor. After the accident, his parents alerted the hospital about Ricky's wishes. His organs went on to give life to seven other people.