Five years after getting the gift of life thanks to a new heart, the Florida woman who received that second chance was able to say thank you to the family of a South Florida firefighter whose donated organs made it all possible.
Adelia Harris met with the family of Joshua Schwabenbauer this weekend in St. Lucie County. Schwabenbauer was a Lauderhill firefighter who died as a result of injuries suffered in an off duty accident. Registered as an organ donor, four of Joshua’s organs were available for transplant – including a heart for Harris just two weeks after her birthday.
Joshua’s family took turns listening to the heart with a stethoscope as Harris, who told NBC affiliate WPTV that she refers to Joshua not as an organ donor but as her “giver of life”. Harris was told she had the heart of “a 98 year-old woman about to die” before the transplant.
"I'll take care of Joshua, just like he's taking care of me," she says.