Worcester boy, 7, meets family of donor one year after heart transplant

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WORCESTER, Mass. (WPRI) — A 7-year-old Worcester boy was given a second chance at life thanks to a heart transplant.

Over the weekend, Carlos Rolon traveled to Orlando, Florida with his parents to meet the family of the boy who gave him the gift of life.

Carlos’ mom, Sheena Cossette, said she thought over and over about what she would say to the mother of the child who gave her son a new heart, but when it came time for the two to meet, she was speechless.

“I don’t think there will ever be any words that can sum it up,” she recalled.

Carlos was born with a heart defect that put him on the heart transplant list for four years until he received a heart last April from a 6-year-old boy from Florida.

“He’s a hero,” Carlos said.

Sean Michael Bridges-Rivera, of Orlando, was killed in a car accident last year. A tragedy for his mother, that would soon become a miracle for another.

“At first I didn’t know much about organ donation,” Sean’s mother Giselle Rivera said. “Under prayer with my father, my pastor, my family. I came to the conclusion that this is the gift of love.”

Rivera was able to hear her son’s heart beat again, but this time inside Carlos’ chest.

“It’s bittersweet because it cost me everything. I want [Carlos] to be everything his heart desires and more,” she said.

Carlos’ parents say they are now forever grateful.

“For [Rivera], it’s like Sean Michael still lives on. But she can also see the appreciation we have for giving Carlos a second chance at life,” Cossette said.

April is also National Donate Life month, encouraging people to sign up to become organ donors.

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