Jack Jr. Loumonth suffered a heart attack when he was just 21 years old. Due to a congenital heart defect, his condition quickly became critical, and no therapy could save him. He was dying, and only had days to live. Then a miracle came out of a tragedy.
More than 600 miles away, Abbey Conner, 20, and her brother Austin, 23, were found unconscious in a swimming pool in Cancun, Mexico, last January. Austin survived, but Abbey was declared brain dead. Their father believed someone had spiked their drinks.
Abbey had wished to be an organ donor, so she was kept on life support until recipients could be located for her organs.
Her organs went to four males; one was Jack Jr., who received Abbey’s heart. It was the miracle he needed, as he only had days to live.
The operation was successful and he was back to living his life, when out of the blue, a letter arrived from Bill Conner, Abbey’s dad.
He asked Jack Jr. if he could meet up, so he could hear his daughter’s heart beating in Jack’s chest. Jack agreed.
“She saved me and I can’t repay her. I wish I could but I can’t,” said Jack Jr.
Bill, still trying to come to terms with his loss, had decided to ride his bike an incredible 2,600 miles, from Madison to Florida, to bring awareness about organ donation.
“Don’t be selfish and bury something that could help somebody else live, or live a better life,” said Bill.
So, 1,400 miles into his trip, he met up with Jack Jr. at Baton Rouge, on Father’s Day.
The two men had an emotional meeting, both hugged each other tightly, and with a stethoscope Jack handed to Bill, he was able to hear his daughter’s heart beating strongly in Jack’s chest.
“Well, it’s working,” Bill said, as both men shed a tear.
“She’s alive. Jack’s alive and she’s alive. It’s her heart. This isn’t about me. This is about Abbey and helping other people in need,” he added, before setting off on his bike.
“Two fathers were able to celebrate Father’s Day. Jack was able to spend the day with his dad, and I was there with Abbey,” he said.
He hopes to arrive in Fort Lauderdale by July 10, where he will scatter Abbey’s ashes in the ocean.
Bill said: “This is what she would want me to do.”