Family of heart donor and heart recipient, meet in person for the first time

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Doctors pronounced Brian Flowers brain dead two years ago, on October 14, 2016. His organs helped save another mans life, giving him a second chance and more time with his family.

Lori Flowers, his daughter and was 18 at the time, had to make a call that no one should ever have to make at that age.

“I wanted to turn a bad situation into something good for another family,” said Lori.

Tyshon Lewis found out he had congestive heart failure, he was on medicine but one day things turned for the worst and doctors told him he needed a new heart.

“It was about eight months, it was around February when I found out I needed a transplant, and I got the transplant on October 16,” said Tyshon.

Lori said it was a tough time for her and her family, but she didn’t really question when it came time to making the call with what to do with her dads organs.

“It was I’m helping someone else, even if I can’t help myself I am helping someone else,” said Lori.

The Flowers and Lewis families have been sending letters back and forth to each other for some time now, through the Gift of Life Donor Program. This program helps coordinate organ transplants and donations. It wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that they both decided they were ready to meet in person.

Tyshon’s wife, Loressa Lewis, was nothing but grateful for the opportunity– for the families to meet. At times Tyshon was even at a loss for words and just kept saying thank you to Lori and her family.

“I am a registered organ donor and I always said I wanted to be a blessing to somebody but I never got thought I would need that blessing,” said Tyshon.

Lori said it came down to helping out, and doing something good for a family in need. She shared memories of her dad with them, saying how close they were and ever since she was 12 he would take her fishing and hunting.

Tyshon competed in Transplant Games of America where he won a medal, that he gave to Lori when they met. He said it was all for Brian and he thanks him every single day.

“It’s a big sacrifice but thinking how much you can help another family just with Tyshon and his family. He’s got two young boys and from what I understand he was really starring to struggle so being able to help him and his family to be together longer is a blessing,” said Lori.

Both families encourage anyone who is going through this process, or something similar to reach out to the donor family and get to know them through a gift of life, you won’t regret it.

If you are thinking about becoming a donor or want to learn more you can visit a Gift of Life’s website.