Despite having lived through the deaths of two sons in a short span, today the grieving father has found comfort in a complete stranger who owes her life to his family.
Jordan Spahn, of Houston, was left heartbroken when his 21-year-old son, Matthew Spahn, tragically passed away in October 2018 after he was fatally struck by a car on a dark road in Brenham. Matthew held on to life on for 10 days in the hospital, giving his family a chance to say their final goodbyes. "He was just walking home. It was just a very tragic accident," Spahn told CBS affiliate KHOU. He'd barely come to terms with losing one son when just months after Matthew's death, the devastated father found himself reliving his worst nightmare all over again.
According to local radio station KWHI, in February 2019, Spahn's 25-year-old son Jonah was killed after being hit by a car on a Bellville highway. Despite having lived through the deaths of 2 sons in such a short span, today Spahn has found comfort in a complete stranger who owes her life to his family. "You’ve got your ups and downs. You’ve got your questions. You wonder about the timing. When it was all said and done with, we figured out exactly why things happen the way they do," the emotional father stated.
Where he lost two loved ones, Spahn gained a whole new family. At the time of his death, Matthew—who was well-known in the community as a track star at Brenham High School—was registered as an organ donor. After his loved ones said their final goodbyes on October 17, 2018, the 21-year-old ended up saving the lives of 5 individuals who were in need of healthy organs. However, it was only recently that Spahn got a chance to meet one of them and the long-awaited meeting turned into an emotional affair as he got to hear the familiar sound of his beloved son's heart.
Earlier this month, Spahn's fiancée Summer Mossbarger took to Facebook to share the heartwarming moment the grieving father met Kristi Russ, a "very special lady" who received Matthew’s heart. Jordan Spahn and I got to have a very special meeting with a very special lady. I'm not sure how many know that Matthew Spahn was an organ donor and he was able to save 5 lives with 7 organs and countless others with skin and tissue. Kristi Richard Russ was the recipient of Matthews's heart and she is such a sweet, grateful woman that is truly so thankful for the gift of life Matthew gave. If you aren't an organ donor I ask that you consider the gift of life, she wrote.
Along with photographs of the duo's tearjerking encounter, Mossbarger also shared a sweet video montage featuring the moment Spahn got to listen to his late son’s heartbeat for the very first time since his tragic passing. In the clip, he is seen pressing a stethoscope to his ears as Russ holds the resonator to her heart while comforting the emotional father. "You know I heard his heart beating for ten days straight. You know I heard his heart beating for ten days straight," Spahn is heard saying in the video, referring to the time Matthew spent in hospital before his death. "It's so strong," he added.
"That it is," Russ agreed. "When it's quiet at night, even without the stethoscope." Having suffered from chronic heart failure until she got Matthew’s heart, she is forever grateful to the Spahn family for gifting her new lease to life. "You’re very thankful because you know without it, I would have never survived. I was on borrowed time," she revealed. Speaking of the emotional meeting, Spahn said through tears that "It’s almost like getting to see Matthew again. I know his heart continues to beat." Although she never got a chance to know Matthew personally while he was alive, Russ was equally moved by the meeting and promised that she was always just a text away if Spahn wants to hear his son's heartbeat again.