A North Dakota mom heard her son’s heartbeat six years after his heart was donated to a young Utah girl.
Jeff and Bobbi Fetzer, of West Fargo, lost their 7-year-old son six years ago after a car accident, when a pickup truck hit the boy while he was crossing a street, according to the Jamestown Sun.
Days before his death, Mikey told his parents he wanted to be an organ donor. So the family honored his wishes after he died, donating his heart to MiaBelle Brickey in Salt Lake City, who was 11 at the time, the Jamestown Sun reported.
But this week, the Fetzers finally met Mia, now 17, who visited Fargo with her family.
The family met her at the airport. Hours later, the Fetzers used a stethoscope to listen to their son’s heartbeat.
Bobbi called the experience “amazing.”
Mia said she’s always reminded of Mikey’s donation when she feels her heartbeat.
"It is really heartwarming makes me smile," Mia said, according to the Jamestown Sun "Sometimes when I lay there I hear it strong and fast."
Mia and her family visited Fargo for a Of One Heart event, which is hosted by Alexa’s Hope, a nonprofit that encourages people to become organ donors.
Mia’s struggles began when she was 11. An athletic soccer player, she suddenly didn’t feel right in May 2011, she said. A virus, called myocarditis, had attacked her heart.
Mia spent 72 days in the hospital after sudden cardiac arrest. She went into hypothermic treatment, which is a coma created from cold. She lost 17 pounds in muscle mass.
Her mother, Heidi Brickey, said in 2011 that she couldn’t thank the donor’s family enough.
"If I could recommend one thing to anyone, it would be for them to be an organ donor," she said. "It's the greatest thing you can do with your life. It is passing on the gift of life."
Mikey’s heart saved Mia's life, Tom Brickey told the Jamestown Sun this week.
"You can't imagine when someone tells you your kid has a chance to live ... how happy that makes you,” he said. “You can't imagine, but that means someone else's child did not, is not going to make it."