A wonderful moment happened Friday at St. Thomas Hospital.
A mother, her daughters’ donated heart and the grateful woman who received that heart all came together.
The moment was 18 months in the making. Joni Layner received the heart of Nancy McLellan’s daughter, Tiffani.
“I am so honored to meet you, it’s such a pleasure to meet and know you’ve got my angels heart in you,” Layner said.
The terrifying question seemingly stopped time as nurses and doctors tried to save 15-year-old Zachary Losee, whose heart had suddenly failed after coming down with flu-like symptoms.
It turned out to be just the beginning of a four-month medical odyssey from that harrowing moment at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester to Losee’s heart-transplant recovery at Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla.
Zach also described plans to become a cardiologist and get involved in organ donor advocacy, having been inspired by Lauren Shields, a Rockland County transplant recipient turned pre-med student.
“All her stories just impacted me…just like me she had viral myocarditis and had to relearn everything,” Zach said.