The family of a man who donated his organs after passing away met one of the recipients in an emotional chance encounter at a baseball game.
Donovan Bulger died in 2016, and his organs reportedly saved the lives of multiple people, including John Sueme.
Sueme had received Bulger's heart later that year, and while he and Bulger's family had communicated via letters, they were not allowed to identify themselves. However, the two chanced upon one another at Transplant Awareness Day at a Major League Baseball game in St Louis, Missouri.
According to Savannah Chavez Roesch, Bulger's sister, it was Sueme's daughter who recognized the picture of Bulger on their shirts.
“We were all in COMPLETE SHOCK & AWE!!! I think everyone in the ballpark heard our cries & shrieks of complete shock & joy!!!!" Roesch wrote on Facebook. “To FINALLY meet him & his WONDERFUL family COMPLETELY RANDOM by chance like that was a feeling I CANNOT even begin to describe!!!! We went back & got a group picture with our new found family!!!"
Bulger's family were able to hear his heartbeat again through Sueme's chest, each taking it in turn to listen.
Pictures courtesy of Savannah Chavez Roesch
The Transplant Awareness Day was presented by Washington University, Barnes-Jewish Transplant Centre and the St Louis Children's Hospital to celebrate the lives of those involved in organ donation.
“I think Donovan arranged us to meet this way," continued Roesch on Facebook. “What are the chances of this happening?!? I'm still in complete SHOCK!!!!!"
The group are reportedly already organizing another meeting.