The only thing Freda Carter wanted to do in life after her son, John Carter died of a brain tumor, was to find the person who received his heart. While she made peace with the fact that their son is still alive in his own way, Mrs. Carter wanted to feel her son’s heart beating one more time. Little did she know that the day will come when her dream will come true and that will all be because of her powerful maternal instincts.
Five years after John’s death, the Carters had a rare chance of encountering the man who was alive because of their son’s heart. 19-year-old Scott Rutherford was giving a reading at a memorial service when Mrs. Carter broke down in tears and said, “This person’s got my son’s heart,” reports the Mail.
The couple was attending the memorial service for organ donors when she spotted Scott and knew instinctively that her son’s heart was beating inside him. Which was strange because the hospital had not revealed any information about the recipients when they decided to donate John’s organs.
“I sat down and turned the page on the order of service and saw his name there and a strange feeling came over me,” she said. I knew he was the recipient of John’s heart. It was irrational as Scott is a common name and he could have been anywhere in the country.”
She went on to add, “But I was completely hysterical. I couldn’t breathe and started making a massive scene. I think it must have been maternal instinct.”
She says it was her dying wish to feel John’s heart beating again, “I have always said since John passed away that my dying wish, the one thing I wanted to do in life, was to meet the boy who got his heart and to feel our John’s beat again. It was a complete miracle that he was standing in front of us.”
When the nurses present at St George’s in Newcastle realized Mrs. Carter was upset, they sat down and listened to Scott’s life story where he narrated about his heart transplant at the age of 14 and how that gave him another chance at life. Turns out, the maternal instinct was right. The nurses did an unusual exception and reconfirmed the incident with the hospital which donated the heart to Scott’s family.
Later, the 66-year-old grieving mom got the chance of standing face-to-face with her dream and feeling her son’s heart beating again. “Scott came up to me and opened his arms and gave me a huge hug,” she said.
“He said he would be eternally grateful for what we have done for him. I asked him if I could feel John’s heartbeat and he let me. It was all I wanted.” Her husband, a 70-year-old retired engineer, added: “John lives on through him. He isn’t dead really.”
According to the Mail, John, a spray painter, died in 2008 at the age of 33. His family decided to donate his organs so others could be saved. Scott was a 14-year-old actor who was born with a rare disorder and was hours away from death when he received John’s heart.
He said, “When I was growing up, I had barely any life. I was miserable and when my heart problems got worse I just wanted to die. I am unbelievably thankful to John and his family for everything that they have done for me.”
“The difference in my health is amazing,” he added. With a second chance at life and better health, Scott went on to pursue his passion for acting and performing arts. He described this rare opportunity of meeting the family that helped him have a second life as “some sort of a miracle.”
Lynn Holt, heart and lung transplant coordinator at the Freeman hospital, said, “I can think of only a few occasions when I was involved with the organ donor’s family meeting their recipient. It is an amazing result and I know that Scott was so happy that he got to meet the family. He was over the moon.”