Sept 2016 The Sun

When her son died at the age of 18, Dona Unsworth made the brave decision to donate his organs. A year-and-a-half on and the 50-year-old has heard her dead son’s heart beat in the chest of the man who’s life was saved. The moment was made all the more poignant by the fact that, until one year ago, Dona was deaf. Jack Taran Essex, from Manchester, passed away in January 2015, after he was hit by a lorry. In the midst of their grief, the teenager’s parents took the selfless decision to donate Jack’s organs – saving five lives. His heart was donated, saving the life of Dennis Laycock.
 
Dona Laycock

A year after the transplant operation, Dona was finally able to make contact with Dennis.
The pair had been chatting on Facebook for two months before they met in person for the first time on Dona’s 50th birthday. Nothing could prepare them for the emotional meeting.

“My husband and I were desperate to get in touch with the person who had received our son’s heart and we wrote a letter to the donor recipient. “After getting in touch with Dennis in February this year, we soon started chatting every day and it gave myself and Graham such comfort that Jack’s heart had gone to someone so genuine and kind. “It was just three years ago that I was fighting for my life in a coma after the medication I was taking for deep vein thrombosis clashed and caused a life threatening reaction. Thankfully I had pulled through but it robbed me from hearing Jack’s voice in the months leading up to his death.” Thanks to a Cochlear implant she was able to hear her son’s heart beating in the 57-year-old’s chest. Dona said. It was so emotional seeing Dennis for the first time. “We both shed a few tears and he had recorded Jack’s heartbeat into a teddy for me to keep.”