ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — An Ohio woman who received a heart transplant got the chance to meet the father of her donor in an emotional gathering.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, Katherine Schroeder-Herrmann was born with a rare congenital heart disease, requiring more than 20 heart procedures before the age of 22.
After a little over a year on the transplant waiting list, Schroeder-Herrmann received a new heart in July 2022 from Desiree Burge, who reportedly saved five lives with her donations.
In a video released to Storyful, Schroeder-Herrmann met Burge’s father, Darrell Conner, and got the chance to tell him what the donation meant to her.
“I wanted to learn about my donor because I want to make sure I’m using this heart for a good purpose,” Schroeder-Herrmann told the Cleveland Clinic. “It was emotional and overwhelming to hear about the person who’s gotten me this far.”
The Cleveland Clinic said that since the transplant, Schroeder-Herrmann has been able to run a 5K, maintain a job and go back to school.
“Nothing would have been able to happen without that gift,” she said.
“Desiree’s heart lives on, and so does she,” Conner told the Cleveland Clinic.
“Even though she’s no longer with us on Earth, her decision to be an organ donor means she’s still here in a way. She’s healing both the recipients of her final gifts, and also us, her own family. We know she made a difference, and we find comfort and pride in that.”