Family hears daughter’s heart beat in boy whose life it saved

DURHAM, NC (WNCN) – Tears of joy Monday as the Jeffries family was able to meet the family whose daughter provided the heart that now beats in their son Albert.

Katelyn Zimmerman decided to be an organ donor three hours before she died. She was riding her bike in Florida with her brother in March when she was hit by a vehicle.“I felt sad meeting the people who gave me a second chance,” said Albert Jeffries, or Al J

The families met for the first time Monday at the Carolina Donor Services in Durham and released balloons and butterflies in Katelyn’s memory.

“Words are not enough. So grateful to meet the people who donated the heart,” said Al J’s mother, Tina Turner.

Katelyn’s father, Shawn, was able to hear his daughter’s heart in Al J.

“It put us at peace knowing the heart is still beating,” he said.

Al J was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy as a 3-month-old and waiting 13 years for a heart.

In March, he learned he would receive a heart that the Jeffries would later learned came from Katelyn. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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