Kentucky woman meets recipient of teenage son’s heart

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OMAHA (WOWT/CNN) — Four years ago, a Kentucky mother lost her young son when he accidentally shot himself while playing with a gun he thought didn’t work.

This weekend, Dawn Grace heard his heart beat again.

Her son, Calen Grace, 14, was an organ donor. Joe Hansen got his heart.

Hansen met Grace for the first time this week. She admits she was not thinking about giving up her son’s heart, before she even started to mourn his death.

“When I was asked to donate, I was very angry. I thought they were crazy. Calen was fine,” she said.

But Grace says her son appeared in a vision and changed her mind about organ donation.

“He comes to me and he says ‘Momma, what would I do? This is not about you. What would I do?’ And I got on the phone and I told them I would because that’s who Calen was,” she said.

Who Calen Grace was saved a man’s life.

Hansen is back to work, going to college and thankful that Calen Grace and his family are organ donors.

“I just want to tell everybody that this could happen to you. Everyone needs to donate. You never know, your child or you might need help from a total stranger, just never know but it is the right thing to do,” he said.

What do you say to a family who gave you their son’s heart?

Hansen just holds on tight and lets Dawn Grace listen to the heart that once beat in her son.

She traveled all the way from Kentucky to meet Hansen and to listen to her son’s heart beat, and now she’s sure it was the right thing to do.

Both say they hope they can see each other on a regular basis.

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