It was a very special Mother's Day for Anna Hutt this year. She met Gary Flint, a heart disease sufferer who was alive because he had received her son's heart in a transplant three years ago.
Hutt's son Payton was killed in a dirt-bike accident in May 2014. He wasn't wearing a helmet, and suffered severe head trauma when he was struck by a fan.
Payton had registered as an organ donor a few weeks earlier over his mother's objections.
“I told him no," Hutt recalls. "I said ‘No, I don’t think you’re going to do that,’ and he was like ‘No, mom. I want to be a donor.'"
Flint was awaiting a life-saving heart transplant operation. At 64, he was told by doctors that without a transplant he had only two or three months to live.
Flint got the transplant thanks to Payton Hutt's generosity, and a year later he and his family wrote to Hutt via the hospital. Hutt responded, telling the curious recipient about her son's life. It turns out that Flint shares some of Payton's interests, including cars and motorcycles, music, and playing pranks.
On Mother's Day, after exchanging years of letters, Payton's mother met the man who had her son's beating heart inside his chest. Flint arrived at the meeting with a bouquet of flowers, a fitting tribute from her absent-but-still-present son. Hutt said she couldn't find words to express her emotions.
Hutt marveled at the sound of her son's heartbeat through a stethoscope. Flint gave her a teddy bear that plays a recording of Payton's heart.
It was a Mother's Day Hutt will never forget.