Oregon man's heart, lifesaving gift bring 2 families together

Oregon Live | Associated Press
Curtis Green listens to Penny Krueger's heartbeat last month in North Bend. Krueger received a new heart from Green's cousin, Joey Carley, who died in May. (Chelsea Davis/The World via AP) (The Associated Press)

NORTH BEND — An orange stethoscope lies on the corner of the kitchen counter, a tangible symbol of the eternal bond that now links two Oregon families.

Bum-bum. Bum-bum. Bum-bum. Penny Krueger's heartbeat is 102 beats per minute. Joey Carley's mother, grandmother, cousins and ex-girlfriends anxiously pick up the stethoscope's earpieces, knowing full well what they'll hear. But tears still stream down their faces the second her heartbeat — his heartbeat — reaches their ears.

It's her heart now, but it wasn't always.

Carley died of a massive brain hemorrhage May 11, just hours before his family had been planning to take him off life support in Corvallis.

Meanwhile in Portland, Krueger and her husband Phil were coming to terms with the fact that she had two to three weeks to live. That day or the next, she would be sent home. Continue reading
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