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See touching moment between heart donor's mother, organ recipient

KING-TV Seattle 7/31/2022 Sebastian Robertson (KING5)

When 22-year-old Sam Schumacher died three years ago in a motorcycle accident in Redmond, his mom never imagined what would come next.

“Being an organ donor and his decision to do that actually gave many of us extra time,” said Corrie Schumacher, Sam’s mother. “Sam was just a light in a lot of people’s life.”

Schumacher was an organ donor – his lungs kidney and liver all went to other recipients, though his heart is with Jafar “Jeff” Siddiqui of Lynnwood.

“I registered as a donor when I was 24 and I always thought ‘hey If people can be helped by my organs why not? I never for a moment imagined thought that I would be on the recipient's end. Life has a lot of very interesting twists and turns,” Siddiqui said.

Siddiqui and Sam’s family were supposed to meet years ago, but the pandemic pushed that moment back until today. LifeCenter Northwest, a non-profit, hosted a celebration that honors the legacies of organ donors and their families.

The process can be very powerful, whether you’re the donor's family or the recipient.

“It was very very difficult to think that my life depended on someone else’s life not happening,” Siddiqui said.

The life-saving transplant was a success, and today Jeff Siddiqui is healthy. Schumacher's mother came prepared with a stethoscope, leaping at the opportunity to hear her son's heartbeat once again.

“It’s just amazing to be able to hear it and hear Sam,” Schumacher said. “It does a mama’s heart good to know that my son was able to give that gift.”

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