Saturday 25 May 2019
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Heart transplant recipient and donor’s family meet by chance at baseball game

Heart transplant recipient and donor’s family meet by chance at baseball game

24 days ago

Heart transplant recipient and donor’s family meet by chance at baseball game

24 days ago


The family of a man who donated his organs after passing away met one of the recipients in an emotional chance encounter at a baseball game.

Donovan Bulger died in 2016, and his organs reportedly saved the lives of multiple people, including John Sueme.

Mr Sueme had received Mr Bulger’s heart later that year, and while he and Mr Bulger’s family had communicated via letters, they were not allowed to identify themselves.

However, the two chanced upon one another at Transplant Awareness Day at a Major League Baseball game in St Louis, Missouri.

According to Savannah Chavez Roesch, Mr Bulger’s sister, it was Mr Sueme’s daughter who recognised the picture of Mr Bulger on their shirts.

“We were all in COMPLETE SHOCK & AWE!!! I think everyone in the ballpark heard our cries & shrieks of complete shock & joy!!!!” Ms Roesch wrote on Facebook.

“To FINALLY meet him & his WONDERFUL family COMPLETELY RANDOM by chance like that was a feeling I CANNOT even begin to describe!!!! We went back & got a group picture with our new found family!!!”

Mr Bulger’s family were able to hear his heartbeat again through Mr Sueme’s chest, each taking it in turn to listen.

The recipient of Donovan Bulger's heart meets the donor's family at a baseball game
(Pictures courtesy of Savannah Chavez Roesch)

The Transplant Awareness Day was presented by Washington University, Barnes-Jewish Transplant Centre and the St Louis Children’s Hospital to celebrate the lives of those involved in organ donation.

“I think Donovan arranged us to meet this way,” continued Ms Roesch on Facebook. “What are the chances of this happening?!? I’m still in complete SHOCK!!!!!”

The group are reportedly already organising another meeting.


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