Original airdate: 9/21/2012
There are no words for what April Beaver was feeling as she listened to the sound of her son's heart beating in another man's chest. Her tears tell the tale.
"That's it – that’s Caleb," said the heart recipient.
It was indeed the sound of Caleb Beaver's heart. He was only 16 years old when he suffered a series of strokes that left him brain-dead. His parents, April and Owen, decided to donate his organs to save others.
"It means a lot to me that Caleb’s heart is still beating," said April.
It meant even more to Dr. Charles Shelton, a psychiatrist from Lexington, Kentucky, whose own heart was rapidly failing when he received Caleb’s donor heart.
"This is where they put his heart into me," Shelton said as he showed cameras the scar from his transplant.
Shelton and his wife Amy wanted to thank Caleb’s family face-to-face for the gift of life, so INSIDE EDITION went with the couple to Mississippi to meet Caleb Beaver's family.
Everybody in the family took turns listening to Caleb’s heart beating, including his brothers, Jacob and Junior.
"Listen to your brother's heart," said Shelton.
And April showed Dr. Shelton the family photo album. Junior offered a tour of Caleb’s room.
"These are his trophies," said Junior. That's when the doctor got quite a surprise.
"Caleb played bass guitar in a Christian band. When I was sixteen, I played bass guitar in a band," said Shelton.
And then, the man who owes his life to a boy he never knew had a surprise of his own.
"This is Caleb’s heart," said Shelton as he showed Amy an echo-cardiogram of the heart that's keeping him alive.
"Look how healthy that heart is," said Shelton.
April was overwhelmed by the sight of it. And once again, tears tell the tale. "Thank you," she said.
"You're welcome. Thank you," said Shelton.