Mom learns dead son's heart was donated to cousin

WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

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According to WDAM, 25-year-old Kendrick Murry, an organ donor, died last September in a work accident. For Mother's Day, his mom, Adrian, wanted to find out who had received his heart.

"I said, 'I want to know where his heart is,'" said Adrian, who donated Murry's kidney to a pastor at her church. "I designated the kidney; that was fine. But I wanted to know where his heart is, and I would be OK."

But her family members had a feeling it hadn't gone far. Adrian's cousin, Clintoria Johnson, had undergone a heart transplant soon after Murry's death, WDAM reported.

“Maybe a few days later (after his death), they were like, 'You know Clintoria went to the hospital, and I’m kind of thinking that’s Kendrick,'" Murry told WDAM. "I said, ‘You think so?’ So I was trying to find out, but I was told I had to write a letter and sign a release. It took me awhile to get to that point, but I said for Mother’s Day, that’s what I wanted to know. It’s just too coincidental that my son passed that Saturday, and then here she is on her way."

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The Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency said that donation agencies may "facilitate anonymous correspondence and meetings initiated by either the donor family or recipient and only if agreed to by both parties." If those parties agree after "extended anonymous communication," the names can be released, according to WDAM.

Just before Mother's Day, Adrian and Johnson received a letter confirming her relatives' suspicions: Johnson's donor was Murry.

Now the two family members have grown closer.

“We are family in more ways than one," Adrian told WDAM. "I think about her a lot. I call her and check on her. She’ll call and check on me. I call her my son sometimes, my daughter."  

Johnson added, “It means a lot to me. I just feel great. I’m just happy it’s in the family."

Read more here.

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