Michael and Barbara Shetterly listen to their son’s transplanted heart beat in the chest of the recipient of his gift.
When the two met last year at the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland’s Baltimore office, Shetterly said he and his wife were still “lost, torn apart.” But when Shetterly pressed a stethoscope to Basdon’s chest, he broke into tears as he heard the pulse of his dead son’s heart.
He had not been so close to this heart since he tried reviving it with CPR in 2014 after finding their son, Matthew, lying on the floor of his childhood bedroom, a heroin needle in his arm. Both Basdon and Shetterly are convinced God intertwined their fates: Matthew died on Good Friday that year and his heart was transplanted into Basdon on Easter Sunday.
It took two years before Shetterly could muster the courage to meet Basdon, who was suffering from guilt that it took someone to die to save his life. But Shetterly has found great relief in knowing Basdon, that his son’s fatal overdose had saved the life of someone willing to offer such an intimate encounter.
“I love that man,” Shetterly said.
“Matthew lives on in me,” Basdon said.