Stephen Norris was only fourteen years old when he passed away in a road accident. His mother, Gillian, likely felt that every piece of him had been lost to her. Now, twenty-three years after she lost her son, she was able to hear his heart beat one more time—inside a stranger’s heart.
Daniel Titley was eleven years old when he received a heart transplant. He’d been born with a defective heart, and by 1992 doctors could no longer operate on it, stave off the need for a transplant. Titley was desperate.
The early death of one young boy prevented the early death of another.
Now, at the age of thirty-four, Titley has been alive for twice as long with his new heart as he had with his old one. He felt the time was right to find out more about the donor who had saved him, and the people his donor had left behind.
Titley and Gillian met face-to-face in a bittersweet encounter that will soon be broadcast on television.
“Today, the mother of my donor put her head to my chest to hear her son’s heart beating.”
Titley had always known how he’d been saved, but:
“Meeting Gillian brought it home that someone had to suffer for me to survive.”
Stephen Norris had been carrying a donor card at the time of his death, and a number of his organs—not just his heart—have gone to help others. A strong reminder that each of us should register as organ donors, to leave the world a little brighter should tragedy strike us.