She lost her son long ago, but she got to hear a part of him that still lives.
What would you do if a complete stranger gave you a second chance at life?
It probably wouldn't feel like enough, but at the very least, you'd likely want to thank them.
Meet Daniel Titley. His life was saved when he received a heart transplant at just 11 years old thanks to a teenage donor.
As reported by "Real Stories with Ranvir Singh," Daniel was born with severe heart complications and the doctors said he wouldn't live past a few months. He underwent multiple surgeries, most of which helped, but he still needed a new heart. And he finally got one at the age of 11 thanks to a donation from a 14-year-old boy who had died in a car crash.
Daniel long wondered about the child who made his new lease on life possible.
At the age of 35, after having his new heart for twice as long as his original heart (!!!), he decided to find out exactly who this child was.
After some digging into records, he found out his donor was a teenager named Stephen Norris. Daniel was hesitant to reach out because he didn't want to remind the donor's family about a painful memory. But he contacted the family and asked to meet anyway. He had to say thank you.
His donor's mother, Gillian Norris, agreed to meet.
And when they embraced, she not only heard Daniel's thanks and appreciation. She got to listen to the heart of her son beating, 23 years after his death.
These types of meetings are rare. But Gillian and Daniel wanted to share this intimate moment with the world.
They wanted to encourage individuals and their families to participate in organ donation.
In case you missed the news, there's a shortage of organ donors in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a new name is added to the national transplant waiting list every 10 minutes and an average of 22 people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant. Daniel lives in the U.K., where up to three people a day die while waiting for a donation. That's still a lot of deaths that could have been prevented.
Gillian and Daniel's story shows how the benefit of organ donation goes beyond the lives saved. It's helpful for the survivors as well.
Making the decision about organ donation can be a really tough thing to do on top of dealing with losing a loved one. However, agreeing to it can be helpful for the survivor dealing with loss. Gillian is one of those people. She told ITV, "Knowing that there's people out there given time that they wouldn't have had without a donor is a comfort to me."