Fate and TV news unite grieving parents and the heart transplant recipient their son saved

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Heart transplant survivor meets donor’s family in-person

Valerie Stebel stepped forward nervously and embraced a total stranger. Taking her hand, he placed it on the stethoscope that hung around his neck. With her head bowed, Valerie closed her eyes and felt her son’s heart beating in the man’s chest.

Every parent’s worst nightmare is losing a child. It’s against the natural order of things and a gut-wrenching prospect too horrifying to consider. But that was the sad reality faced by Valerie and David Stebel of Norwalk, Ohio, when their 20-year-old son, Cody, was killed in a car crash.

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