Dad Goes On Cross-Country Bike Ride To Hear His Late Daughter's Heart Beat In The Person Who Received It

In total, he will bike 2,600 miles.

Father's Day is often an emotional time for dads when they reflect on memories with their own fathers, and those new ones they've since created with their kids. For Bill Conner, this past Father's Day was an especially emotional experience because it marked the first one he'd spend without his daughter, Abigail Conner. The 20-year-old, who also went by Abbey, passed away on January 12 after she, and her 23-year-old  brother Austin, were found face down at a resort pool in Cancun, Mexico. Austin survived, but his sister did not. 

Despite her passing, the dad from Oregon, WI was able to pay tribute to his daughter on Father's Day by biking all the way to Louisiana to visit the person who received her heart. Before her passing, Abbey had registered to be an organ donor and her heart was donated to Loumonth Jack Jr., from Ventress, LA, whose heart was failing after suffering two heart attacks. 

Conner was able to get in touch with the 21-year-old via the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency, and the two had phone conversations before deciding to meet in person. Conner began his trip — which he is calling "Abbey's Ride for Life" — in Madison, WI on May 22, and met Jack four weeks later on Father's Day. 

During their meeting, Jack presented Conner with a stethoscope so he could hear Abbey's heart, and Jack told The Advocate he is thankful not only to Abbey for her heart, but for the connection he now has with her father. "You can't just get relationships like that," he said. "His daughter is living in me."

Conner is continuing to ride his bike across the country in an effort to spread awareness and money for organ donation. He plans to end his trip on approximately July 10 at the hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where Abbey passed away. There, he will spread his daughter's ashes in the ocean. 

He is writing about his journey and mission on his GoFundMe page



Conner is riding an average of 60 to 65 miles a day, six days per week. In total, he will have biked 2,600 miles.

On his GoFundMe page, Conner writes that every day there are 10 new people added to the national organ donor waiting list. Sadly, approximately 22 people will die while still waiting for a transplant.

"Through my entire ride, I will be bringing awareness to the impact of organ donation and how important the gift of life truly is when tragedy shows up on your doorstep. I will be riding six days a week averaging 60-65 miles per day, and on my days off and at every stop along my bike route, I will be asking people to register online to become organ donors."  

"Helping people and coming to their aid in a time of need, knowing that your child, spouse, family or your friends, have allowed someone else to live due to their generosity will be a comforting moment in the midst of your own tragedy."

He explained to the Advocate that the organ donations are something that have helped him after Abbey's passing and he is thankful that Jack and three others were able to benefit from Abbey being a donor.

To register to become an organ donor, please visit Donatelife.net.

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