Family of 30-year-old who shockingly died in his prime listen to his heart inside recipient’s chest




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The mother, fiancée and young son of a young man who died suddenly heard his heart beat again inside the chest of the woman who received it.

David Rivera died of a brain bleed due to a rare blood clotting disorder in October 2017 when he was just 30 years old, reported NBC 7 San Diego.

Because he was a registered organ donor, his lung, liver, kidneys, tissue and heart went to recipients on transplant lists, saving five people’s lives.

One of them was Sandra, a mother from Chula Vista who received his heart after suffering from cardiovascular disease for years.

Now two years later, as a sign of gratitude, she invited Rivera’s family to hear his heart beat again. 

Susan Amador (left), from San Diego, California, heard her late son David Rivera's heart beat for the first time since he died two years ago in Sandra (right), the woman who received it

Susan Amador (left), from San Diego, California, heard her late son David Rivera’s heart beat for the first time since he died two years ago in Sandra (right), the woman who received it

Rivera, 30, died in October 2017 of a brain bleed due to a rare blood clotting disorder. Pictured: Rivera with his fiancée Kimmy Hoang and their son Josiah, now four

Because Rivera was a registered organ donor, his lung, liver, kidneys, tiddur and heart went to recipients on transplant lists. Pictured: Rivera with his fiancée Kimmy Hoang and their son Josiah, now four

Rivera, 30, died in October 2017 of a brain bleed due to a rare blood clotting disorder. Because he was a registered organ donor, his lung, liver, kidneys, tissue and heart went to recipients on transplant lists. Pictured, left and right: Rivera with his fiancée Kimmy Hoang and their son Josiah, now four

Rivera’s mother, Susan Amador, told NBC 7 that Rivera loved the outdoors and spending time with his fiancée Kimmy Hoang and their son Josiah, now four. 

‘Everywhere he went, everything he did was about getting people together and making people feel special,’ Amador told the station.

His family said they were shocked when the seemingly healthy Rivera went to the ER with a headache, only to die just a few days later.

‘He went from a little headache to [doctors saying] “He’s not going to make it” within an hour or two,’ Amador said,

Sandra, who received Rivera’s heart, was in dire need of a new organ after heart disease almost cost her her life. 

She told CBS 8 that she considered Rivera’s heart to be ‘a miraculous gift provided by God.’ 

Nonprofit organization Lifesharing, which coordinates organ and tissue donation in San Diego and Imperial Counties, set up a meeting between Sandra and Rivera’s family on Monday.

Sandra placed the chest-piece of a stethoscope by her heart and Amador listened first. 

Amador listened to Rivera's heart beat in Sandra chest before Hoang (right) and Josiah (left) listened to it

Amador listened to Rivera’s heart beat in Sandra chest before Hoang (right) and Josiah (left) listened to it 

Sandra had another gift for Josiah: a teddy bear with an electrocardiogram recording of Rivera's heartbeat that plays when the stomach is pressed (pictured)

Sandra had another gift for Josiah: a teddy bear with an electrocardiogram recording of Rivera’s heartbeat that plays when the stomach is pressed (pictured)

Amador said that she plans to keep in touch with Sandra, because their families live a mile apart. Pictured: Sandra (center) with Rivera's family (left) and Sandra's family (right)

Amador said that she plans to keep in touch with Sandra, because their families live a mile apart. Pictured: Sandra (center) with Rivera’s family (left) and Sandra’s family (right)

Amador listened for a few seconds before saying: ‘It’s strong. That’s for sure’ to which Sandra reiterated: ‘Very strong’.

Then Rivera’s fiancée Hoang listened with their young son Josiah who cried: ‘I’m not done yet!’ when staff tried to remove the ear tips from his ears.

Sandra had another gift for little Josiah: a teddy bear with an electrocardiogram recording of Rivera’s heartbeat that plays when the stomach is pressed.

‘He’s going to come to realize his dad is a hero,’ Amador said. ‘That’s very important.’  

Amador told NBC 7 that she plans to keep in touch with Sandra because their families live just a mile apart.

According to the American Transplant Foundation, there are nearly 114,000 people in the US currently waiting for a life-saving transplant.  



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