Donor family, heart recipient meet for the first time

PORT LAVACA WAVE | Meloney Overton

“How do you thank someone for the beautiful gift that they gave? There really are no words, so I will just tell you what you have given us.” An excerpt from a letter Alice Geryk, whose son is a heart transplant recipient, sent to Pam Thomas, mother of Zachary Guined, an organ donor.

“I’m so nervous. Such a mix of emotions,” Alice Garyk said hours before meeting the family whose son, an organ donor, supplied the heart that beat in her son Tony Geryk’s chest.

The Geryks, including Tony, Alice, her husband Mark Geryk, and daughter Rebekah Geryk, along with family friends, met the donor Zachary Guined’s family Tuesday for the first time since Tony’s heart transplant Aug. 9, 2013.

Zachary’s mother and stepfather Pam and Donald Thomas, sister Bethany Guined, and grandmother Pat Comer, all from Gadsden, Ala., and aunt and uncle Traci and Craig Stuart, from Texas, waited inside a rental house in Port O’Connor for the Geryk family to arrive.

Pam and Alice hugged immediately upon meeting, tears shed by both mothers. Pam hugged Tony, who gave her a painting he did of a heart, with the date of his transplant written on it. Continue reading
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