Heart recipient connecting with donor's family


Westside graduate enjoying new lease on life; has plans for ministry, possible return to Anderson

Brandon McNeely got a new lease on life a year ago, thanks to a heart donated by a North Carolina man. McNeely, who lives in Concord, North Carolina now, is a native of Anderson and graduate of Westside High School. He is flanked here by wife Kimberly and daughters Nevaeh, 13, and Larkyn, 4.(Photo: Brandon McNeely)
Brandon McNeely intends to live a long life, to care for his family and reach out to others who may feel lost spiritually. A restaurant in his hometown of Anderson is also possible.

Those plans are possible only because he lingered on a heart transplant list for months until a match was found, one made possible when Lisa Crouch resolved to make something good come from the loss of her youngest child.

It’s taken a year, but Brandon and the donor’s family found each other.

“I think we were destined to be friends, and I think he’s a wonderful guy,” said Lisa Crouch, who made the decision to donate the heart, kidneys and liver of her late 24-year-old son, Jamie Claypool. “This is a beautiful story. If you don’t have any religious reasons against it, you should donate your organs. Who could be sad about saving a life?” Continue reading
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