Joyful Reunions

Organ Recipient Meets Donor Family at Nora’s

A teary but joyful reunion took place at Nora’s Home this month as organ recipient Bill Riggs and his wife Virginia, were privileged to meet Bill’s heart donor’s parents, Maribel and Jesus Garcia, for the first time. After five years of both the Garcias and Riggs families trying to connect, they were finally able to get in touch. With the aid of LifeGift, the local organ procurement organization that helps facilitate transplants in the Houston area, Bill was able to talk over the phone with Maribel, the mother of his donor, Christian Garcia, and coordinate a visit in Houston.

They planned to meet at Nora’s Home where the Riggs’ were delighted to show Maribel and Jesus around the home and introduce them to other guests like themselves who are also on a transplant journey. The encounter was so special for both parties and the Garcias were happy to see both how well cared-for the transplant patients were at Nora’s Home and how much hope, healing and joy organ donations can bring to the recipients. It was monumental for the Garcias to see the impact their son’s donation of his heart on Bill’s life, granting him at least an additional five more years of life he wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed.

Both families visited for a while, swapping stories about Bill and Christian. A pinnacle part of the whole encounter was when Maribel got to listen to Christian’s heart beating in Bill’s chest–a moment neither will soon forget. At the conclusion of the visit, the families had become so bonded that they have since agreed to coordinate visits with each other during the holidays and other times throughout the year as they feel like they are a very special part of each other’s lives, even family.

Following the visit, the Riggs’ shared about their visit with the Garcias and on the impact Nora’s Home had in the whole transplant process. Catch their interview below. In LifeGift’s write-up of the visit, Aftercare Coordinator, Shannon Lenox adds, “It’s always a privilege to support our families. If interested in setting up a meeting with your donor family or recipients – please contact us at”

LifeGift Press Release