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Mother hears late daughter’s transplanted heart beating

A mother has heard her late daughter’s heart beating inside the chest of the man who received it in a transplant operation.

Amber Morgan’s daughter, Andreona, died at the age of 20 after suffering from asthma.

Tom Johnson, 68, had suffered with a weak heart since childhood. Doctors had tried a pacemaker but decided a transplant was the best solution.

Four years on from his operation, Mr Johnson, from the US state of Illinois, pressed a stethoscope to his chest while Ms Morgan, from Indiana, listened.

“It’s almost like I got to hug my daughter again,” she said.

“As a mother, you listen to your child’s heartbeat when you carry them, and I don’t think you ever ask to hear it again. It’s amazing.

“She’s in somebody else and helping them. She made me so proud throughout her whole life, and she still makes me proud.”

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Mr Johnson said he wanted to express his gratitude and sent a letter to Ms Morgan in 2019, a year after the transplant at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago.

He also sent a second letter, but did not hear back until recently when Ms Morgan said she would like to meet, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Discussing the procedure, Mr Johnson said it “opened up a whole new world of possibilities”.

He added: “It’s just unbelievable. I mean, I can work out in the garden, ride the bike. My sons can’t believe how quick I can go.

“This is just a big blessing for me to meet Amber. I was praying virtually every night that this would happen.

“I always referred to my donor, and now I have a name. It’s just unbelievable beyond words.”

His wife, Sharon, said he “takes very special care” of the organ and “never misses his heart medication – ever”.

The meeting, at a hotel in Chicago, was arranged by the Indiana Donor Network.