Mom Hears Late Son's Heartbeat In Boy, 14, For The First Time

A mom whose son died nearly two years ago in a car crash has been able to hear her late son's heartbeat after the organ was donated to a 14-year-old boy.
credit: Jacob Lund / Alamy
When Maria Clark tragically lost her 25-year-old son, Nicholas Peters, she decided she would donate his organs to those who need it.

Clark, who has three other children, said in an interview with Good Morning America: "I said, 'We can't bury all of this magic, that we have to share.'"

"He was always a people person, helping everybody, going out of his way to make sure you knew you were special," she added, and said: "Everybody was 'Team Nick.'"

The rest of Clark's family agreed that the young man's organs should be donated to people all over the country.

What Clark didn't know at the time was that one of the recipients lived less than three hours away.

In September 2020, in nearby New Iberia, Louisiana, 14-year-old Jean Paul Marceaux was on a waiting list for his second heart transplant.

Jean Paul, who is now in the seventh grade, was just two years old when he contracted a virus and developed cardiomyopathy - a condition in which "the heart muscle’s ability to pump blood is reduced," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

He was on life support for around half a year before he received a new heart. But more than a decade later, the heart began to fail - his mom, Candace Armstrong, said.

"When he got the first transplant, we knew the probability of him having to get a second one was highly likely," she said. "He ended up in the hospital in June 2020."

Jean Paul had his second transplant thanks to Clark's son. Less than a year later, Armstrong received a letter from Clark who was keen to meet the people who were now carrying her son's organs.

"I wrote right away," Clark said. "I wanted to know where his organs are. I want to know that they're okay, that they're doing fine and moving on with their lives and their health."

The two families met for the first time on May 14 in New Orleans. Armstrong and her son brought with them a stethoscope so that Clark could hear her son's beating heart in Jean Paul.

"He came in and he just hugged me. He had a strong hug, just like Nick did," Clark said. "And then to hear the heartbeat, it was so strong and so full of life."

"It came through the stethoscope so strong, just beating like a drum," she said of Jean Paul's heartbeat. "I was so connected to him because he was so much like Nick."

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