‘I went from dying to living’: Heart transplant recipient feels connected to donor’s family

CNN Newsource Pristine Villarreal

JACKSON, Mississippi (WAPT) — It’s a love story brought together by fate. And to start this story, we have to go back to February 2015, when Moseziner “Moe” Crozier, who had congestive heart failure, lay dying in intensive care at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

“I stayed there until March when they came in and said they had found a heart for me,” she said.

About 100 miles away in Macon, 28-year-old Kristopher Haywood had been killed. But he was about to give the ultimate gift.

“That was a major gift to receive a heart from a stranger,” Crozier said. “They don’t know me. They just lost their son, but they cared enough to give someone else a chance.”

Now, Haywood’s heart beats inside Crozier.

“I wouldn’t be here without Kris,” she said. “Kris, there wouldn’t be a story from me if it wasn’t for him.”

Haywood’s parents, Carol and Harvey Haywood, said their son was kind, loving and wanted nothing more than to help people.

“I went from dying to living,” Crozier said.

She got a second chance at life.

“I’ve won gold medals, all with the help of Kris,” Crozier said. “I’m an Olympian with the Team Transplant Mississippi, and of course, on the back of my shirt, it says, ‘MoeKris.'”

Haywood’s parents met Crozier in 2016, and now they are inseparable. Whether it’s a regular day, Valentine’s Day or Christmas.

“We’re family. They’re just my second family. Not just my second family, we’re family,” Crozier said. “It’s genuine love. They really love me, and I really love them. So, Kris will forever be alive to them as long as I can keep him alive.”

Haywood was able to give five organs to save five lives. His heart went to Crozier, his kidneys are still in Mississippi. A Floridian received his liver, and his pancreas is in Illinois.

“It says that I want to give the biggest and best gift ever. It says that I don’t mind sharing whatever it is. I can share to save someone else’s life,” said Belinda Lane, with the Mississippi Organ Recovery Agency.

But according to MORA, only 35% of Mississippians are registered organ donors. Because the number is so low, it could mean the difference between life and death.

“One thing in meeting this family, his mother said it was a blessing, and she wanted me to live my life,” Crozier said. “She was just so grateful and happy for me, even with the loss of her son. I’ll be forever grateful to them for this.”

For every organ donor, up to eight lives can be saved. Tuesday is National Donor Day. Tap here to register to be an organ donor.

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