A father carried on the legacy of his late daughter by biking 2,600 miles and into the arms of the man who received his child’s heart.
Bill Conner, 57, lost his daughter Abigail, 20, after she drowned while on a family vacation in Mexico. Her heart was transplanted into the chest of Louisiana resident Loumonth Jack Jr., 21, who was suffering from a fatal heart disease.
Conner, who carried a photo of his daughter with him on his trek, started his journey on May 22 in Wisconsin and battled severe weather, including heat and Tropical Storm Cindy, as he made his way to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
It was at Broward where, earlier in the year, his daughter’s organs were removed and given to people in need.
On Monday, Conner ended his journey and greeted Jack, who he had met on Father’s Day while biking through Louisiana.
"Congratulations man, you made it," Jack said as he emotionally embraced the father of the woman who saved his life.
"He’s the perfect recipient for my daughter’s heart. I wouldn't want it anywhere else,” Conner said at a tearful press conference after the journey.
"I had eight days to live," Jack said. "If it wasn't for Abigail..."
He showed Inside Edition his surgical scar, and said his parents are extremely grateful.
"It’s sad she had to lose her life in order for our son to live,” his mother told Inside Edition.
Bill has a new name for the recipient — he calls him Abby Jack, a combination of his daughter's first name and Loumonth’s last name.
"I see a new family member,” Conner told Inside Edition. “I see a good kid.”
Conner then listened to his daughter’s heartbeat with the help of a stethoscope.
The proud and emotional father did the journey to raise awareness of the value of organ donation.