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Life Stories: A New Heart Helps a Young Girl Continue Living and Loving

Shutong Shutong Matthew Mingin image. Matthew Mingin image.

Heart Recipient: California

At five years old, Shutong (Tong Tong) had already undergone one open-heart surgery for a serious congenital heart disease. Then doctors told her parents that the critically ill Chinese girl needed a transplant. “She couldn’t walk or eat and finally, she was put in intensive care,” explains Shutong’s mother.

Shutong received the heart of donor Matthew, a four-year-old described by his mother as “a polite and generous boy with a heart of gold.” According to his mom, Matthew was a typical boy who liked playing with cars, watching movies, and going bowling.” Yet his gift of life was far from typical.

With her new heart, “Tong Tong” was transformed into an energetic child who is happy all of the time. She is now running, jumping, and playing with other children.

Matthew’s gift helped save more than Shutong’s life. “One woman made the decision to become a donor when she heard Shutong’s story. We are so grateful,” says Shutong’s mother.

“Shutong’s donor, Matthew, saved other lives indirectly. One woman made the decision to become a donor when she heard Shutong’s story.”

— Shutong’s mother


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