After years of letters and Facebook messages, the two women exchanged emotional hugs, and then Boenitz offered Boylen the chance to listen to her deceased son’s heart beating inside of her chest.
“Do you want to hear his heart,” she said. “It’s probably going a million miles an hour.”
Boylen listened first, followed by Matthew’s 12-year-old daughter, his two sisters, his longtime girlfriend and his nieces and nephews, IndyStar.com reported.
“He would have wanted his heart to go to someone who loved their family, who made a difference in the world,” Jamie Harriman, Matthew’s sister, told IndyStar.com. “That’s why we’ve been able to come to terms. We’re all organ donors now.
Every fall since 2013 Prof. Sophia Aidiniou has conducted voluntary educational training sessions on BMCC’s campus. Her Peer Educators helped to develop an annual event on Organ Donation Awareness and how it literally saves lives. This event generally occurs every November and draws anywhere from 300 to 500 students, faculty and staff over the course of two hours into the BMCC Richard Harris Terrace.
Students see video presentations on the power of organ donation; they hear speakers who share riveting stories of how a stranger or a mother saved not one but many lives through the gift of organ donations. Many times, in the audience, three or four people stand up to also provide testimonies on their own organ transplant or the transplant of a family member. Many of her speakers like Dave Rodgers, Dina Barham and Jennifer Lentini return each year to share their stories. Medical perspectives have been provided by Dr. Ernest Patti, Senior Emergency Physician and President of the St. Barnabas Hospital medical staff.
Under her leadership efforts and her collaborations with LiveOn NY, Prof. Sophia Aidiniou was responsible for providing a fun, engaging, and educational module for BMCC students to make an impact in the college community and in the communities where they live. Working together they increased the number of registered donors (many of them representing minority communities). Over the last four years, she has recruited over sixty (60) students and in time these students became Peer Educators who were able to spread the word about the importance of organ donations and transplants to others within BMCC and the NYC communities where they lived.