It is extremely difficult when you have to say goodbye to your loved ones, such as your mom or dad. When someone you care so much about passes away, the only things you can hold onto are their favourite belongings and cherished memories. 

Erika Preciado, 16, got more than that when she met her dad’s heart recipient, Ramiro Cruz, on Tuesday.

The teen finally heard her late dad’s heartbeat when she met Ramiro.

Credit: CBS Sacramento (CBS 13)

Erika, who is from Modesto, California, lost her dad, Erik Sandoval-Preciado in a carjacking 12 years ago.

Credit: CBS Sacramento (CBS 13)

“We got to the hospital and they told us what happened to my dad and my whole family’s heart just broke,” she told CBS Sacramento. 

When Erika’s dad passed away, he donated his organs which ended up saving four people’s lives—including Ramiro’s.

According to Erika, Ramiro is very thankful to her family.

“He’s just so grateful. I’m grateful my dad was able to do that for him,” she said.

When Erika heard her late dad’s heartbeat

When Erika met Ramiro, she got the opportunity to hear her dad’s heartbeat for the very first time since it was donated 12 years ago. 

The whole experience was very surreal to Erika and made her emotional as she was listening to her dad’s heartbeat.

Credit: CBS Sacramento (CBS 13)

“I just figured ‘oh it’s like another heartbeat’ but when I actually heart it, it was crazy. I knew something was different about it,” she explained.

As of January 2019, there were more than 113,000 men, women and children on the national transplant waiting list for organ donations.

The Organ Donation Statistics are from the Division of Transplantation (DoT), which is within the U.S Department of Health and Human Services.

The number of people on the waiting list for organ donation is far greater than the number of organ donors and transplants. The large discrepancy means that about 20 people die every day waiting for a suitable transplant.

Statistics show that 95% of U.S. adults support organ donation but only 58% of them signed up as organ donors. 

More lives could be saved if more people are willing to participate in organ donation, especially since one organ donor can donate up to eight lifesaving organs, potentially saving eight lives.

If you wish to register to be a donor, you sign up here.

Erika has already made her decision to continue her dad’s legacy.

Credit: CBS Sacramento (CBS 13)

“I want to make a change because saving another life is a miracle,” she said.

Credit:  CBS Sacramento (CBS 13)

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