Two families that share a heart through donation meet for first time

WSAW | Emma Henderson
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wis. (WSAW)- A heartbeat, to some it's just the pulsing of blood through the body, but for the Scharenberg and Tibbetts families, it's a connection they will always share.

"The last time I can remember hearing his heart he was a little boy in my arms," Frank Scharenberg said as he remembers his son Thomas.

Thomas had spent his life outside helping his father run a golf course. He was a practical jokester and outdoor sports lover from Montello, Wisconsin.

When Dawn Tibbetts got a call around 1 a.m. on April 9, 2016, at first she thought it was a joke. Someone from the University of Wisconsin, Madison Hospital told her something she had been waiting to hear; they had a heart for her.

"I didn't realize at the time that my hear was so large, I almost had no lung left," Tibbetts said. "You kind of talk yourself into believing you're not as bad as you think you are."

As Tibbetts was packing to go to Madison, the Scharenberg family was preparing to say goodbye to their 31-year-old son, Thomas. Thomas, who went by Tom, had been fatally injured in an ATV accident and was a registered organ donor. Continue reading
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