Ross: Organ donor families finally get a chance to reconnect with the lives their loved ones saved

Aug 1, 2022, 6:34 AM | Updated: 7:50 am

organ doner...

(Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images)

(Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images)

It was three years ago on this show that we ran an interview with a friend of mine, Jeff Siddqui, about his heart transplant; what it was like to go through a ten-hour operation and wake up 2 and a half days later with a stranger’s heart in your chest.

As he said at the time – definitely one of those things that call for a prayer before you go in:

“Essentially, I said, if it’s your will that I die, then I’m at peace with it,” Siddqui said. “But if I’m to survive help me help someone else as well.”

More from Dave Ross: When voting this week remember the oath that you take

He also told me back then he was curious to know whose heart was now beating in his chest:

“I’m not told the gender, the age, or even the location from where the heart came,” Siddqui said. “All I know is it was a young person.”

A 22-year-old man, as it turned out.

What neither of us knew when Jeff’s interview aired in January of 2020 was that the donor’s mom, Corrie, was listening. She had lost her son in a motorcycle accident. He was an organ donor, and she had a hunch, so she sent a letter. Sure enough, it was her son’s heart keeping Jeff alive.

In April of 2020, Jeff and Corrie met – the only way it was safe – via Zoom:

“I daresay Cory and I would have met in person quite a long time ago,” Siddqui said. “But for this COVID business.”

“If it was up to me in this, we weren’t in the middle of this COVID crisis we would have met already,” Corrie said. “I can’t wait for the opportunity to actually shake his hand, give him a hug.”

Well, yesterday, in Bellevue, Life Center NW held its annual Donation Celebration, where donor families and recipients gather to share stories and memories – they even have stethoscopes there to hear the hearts that still beat – and I can report to you that Corrie and Jeff were there to finally meet in person.

I was there to introduce Jeff’s speech to the group, but mostly I just sat there admiring the courage of so many families who at their worst moment wanted to turn their tragedy into a second chance at life for someone else.

I also got to meet Corrie; we talked a little about what she’d been through, and all I’ll say is that the world needs people with her kind of faith.

And that little red heart on their driver’s license.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

patty murray debt ceiling...

Dave Ross

Ross: Patty Murray vows to restore social services as debt ceiling bill passes

This is a guest commentary from Senator Patty Murray. She was presiding over the Senate as they passed the debt ceiling bill last night.

1 day ago

irs funding debt limit bill...

Dave Ross

Ross: IRS funding lost in debt limit bill, tax cheats rejoice

The debt limit bill passed in a classic bi-partisan compromise, and I was actually impressed by last night’s debate.

2 days ago

Irs debt ceiling...

Dave Ross

Ross: IRS has new no-pursuit policy with debt ceiling deal

This debt ceiling deal means the IRS will have to adopt a no-pursuit policy. It means the highway is clear, and all the lights are green.

3 days ago

book ban...

Dave Ross

Ross: Can anybody really ban a book?

For all the talk about a book ban, Dave Ross explains why he's never had any trouble getting any book he wants.

4 days ago

Republicans debt...

Dave Ross

Ross: Republicans are really using the debt crisis to spend more

Ross: You are not going to reduce the debt. Especially if you have people like Senator Graham who are using this crisis to spend more money.

5 days ago

baby branding...

Dave Ross

Ross: Maybe more Americans should consider baby branding

According to Bloomberg, some anxious American and European parents have been hiring branding consultants to name their baby.

8 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Men's Health Month...

Men’s Health Month: Why It’s Important to Speak About Your Health

June is Men’s Health Month, with the goal to raise awareness about men’s health and to encourage men to speak about their health.

Internet Washington...

Major Internet Upgrade and Expansion Planned This Year in Washington State

Comcast is investing $280 million this year to offer multi-gigabit Internet speeds to more than four million locations.

Compassion International...

Brock Huard and Friends Rally Around The Fight for First Campaign

Professional athletes are teaming up to prevent infant mortality and empower women at risk in communities facing severe poverty.

Emergency Preparedness...

Prepare for the next disaster at the Emergency Preparedness Conference

Being prepared before the next emergency arrives is key to preserving businesses and organizations of many kinds.

SHIBA volunteer...

Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a SHIBA volunteer could be for you!

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.

Ross: Organ donor families finally get a chance to reconnect with the lives their loved ones saved