'I know that rhythm!' Mom hears heartbeat of son in organ recipient on Valentine's Day

Posted at 10:15 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 23:23:05-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A mid-state mom got the best Valentine's Day gift possible on Thursday, as she got to hear her son's heart beat inside the woman whose life he saved.

Wendy Hartley's son Kevin died in 2017 while he was refinishing a bathtub, overcome by the fumes he breathed in.

But Kevin was an organ donor, and Rhonda Lucas, a Johnson City nurse experiencing heart failure, received Kevin's heart.

On Valentine's Day, Wendy and Rhonda met for the first time.

During their emotional meeting, Wendy got to hear her son's heart beat inside Rhonda for the first time. Valentine's Day is also National Donor Day.

"There he is, he saved my life!" Rhonda said as Wendy first heard the beats inside of her.

"That's my baby!" Wendy said.

"I've made it so far with him, you just don't know," Rhonda told Wendy. "I just love you so much."

Wendy, still taken in by the moment, remembered that familiar sound from her son that will continue to live on in Rhonda.

"I know that rhythym!" Wendy said.

Click here for information on how you can become an organ donor.