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Lifestyles over 50

The Sound of Her Beating Heart

Oct 17, 2023 10:35AM ● By Art Villafane
Sometimes, you run across a story so amazing and profound that it sticks with you for the rest of your life. Such was my experience with my cousin, Yvonne. Yvonne is now in her sixties, but to say it is a miracle that she is still with us is an understatement.

Some years ago, she was diagnosed with significant heart disease. She was still a young woman, so it came as quite a surprise to the family. As the weeks went by Yvonne grew weaker and weaker, and the family became quite alarmed. We were not prepared when we received her diagnosis. She needed a heart. 

How do you process that? A young, beautiful, and vivacious woman has a failing heart? It could not be. But it was true.

The call went out that she was a transplant candidate. She needed a heart.

Now, we had to wait. You can imagine the anxiety the family endured.

One day, the call came in. A young woman had died in an accident, and she was a match with Yvonne. Our elation was immediately tempered by the fact that another’s life was the price.
The operation was a complete success, and soon Yvonne was on the mend. A little while later, the victim’s family reached out and asked to meet with Yvonne. Yvonne said “Yes.” I was not there, but I could imagine the mix of emotions as they prepared for the meeting.

When Yvonne and the young woman’s mother hugged, the mother put her mouth close to Yvonne’s ear and whispered a request to hear her daughter’s heart. Of course, Yvonne said “Yes,” and the families watched as Mom placed her ear softly on Yvonne’s chest.

She grabbed Yvonne tightly and sobbed as she kept listening to the soft beating of her daughter’s heart. After some time, everyone regained their composure as best they could, and Mom turned to Yvonne and said, “Thank you.” She knew that a part of her daughter gave life to another and—in a way—lived on.


The families stayed in touch, and Mom was able from time to time to visit and listen to her daughter’s heart.

Triumph after tragedy. As one life was lost, another was given a new chance. Be always grateful.
“Waking up to see another day is a blessing. Don’t take it for granted.”
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