A tragedy for a Kentucky family has given a Council Bluffs another chance at life. Four years ago, 14 year old Calen Grace accidently shot himself. His mother, Dawn Grace made the decision to donate Calen’s organs
Meanwhile, then 51 year old Joe Hansen had struggled for years with heart issues and was on a transplant waiting list at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha. It was on September 3, 2012 that Hansen received Calen’s heart. Hansen and Grace had been corresponding through letters, emails and long phone calls but they never met in person until last Friday.
Grace says, “And I heard my baby’s heartbeat and it is as strong as ever.”
Hansen says, “Everything I basically do now I try to honor Calen and his memory. I always think to myself when I’m in situations ‘how would Calen handle this? Would Calen approve?’. He keeps me on the straight and narrow.”
Grace hopes Calen’s story encourages others to register as organ donors. Calen’s organs saved five lives.