Heartfelt reunion: Recipient, organ donor’s mother finally meet

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Organ Donor Reunion

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The mother of a woman who died following a crash in Trotwood in 2016 got the chance to meet the man who her daughter’s donated heart helped save.

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Kara Somers, 32, was killed after the car she was driving hit a tree and caught fire on McArthur Avenue two years ago.

Kara’s heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs went to various people that were waiting for transplants, including Michael Bates from Illinois.

Bates received Kara’s heart when he was 53 years old and would send her mother, Betty, greeting cards for the holidays to express his gratitude for her daughter’s life changing donation.

“They told you not to contact me within the first year. I was waiting for you to do it the day after,” Bates said to Betty.

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Betty always wanted to meet the people keeping her daughter’s spirit alive and she finally got to do that with Michael, but it won’t be her last reunion.

Tomorrow, Betty will meet the woman who received her daughter’s lungs.

She hopes to inspire family members who have lost loved ones to consider organ donation.

“What I want to do is draw awareness to family members that they please share your wishes, because when it comes to hospital settings, you’re not thinking about that and a life could be saved...two lives could be saved,” Betty said.

There are 2,900 people waiting for organ donation in Ohio, according to Life Connection of Ohio.

More information about organ donation and the opportunity to register to be a donor can be found on Connection of Ohio’s website.