Heart transplant leads to marriage

A heart transplant led to wedding bells after the donor’s sister and the recipient met for the first time.

When 22-year-old Kellen Roberts died in 2005, his family decided to donate his organs to save another life. His mother, Nancy and his sister Erine, therefore, worked with LifeCenter Northwest in Bellevue to find the right match for Kellen’s heart.


June 13 th, 2015

In the meantime, 17-year-old Connor Rabinowitz was waiting for a heart. Doctors told Connor’s parents that he urgently needed a heart or he would die. Connor spent 96 agonising days waiting for a heart before doctors informed him that they’ve found a donor match. 

After the transplant, Conner wrote a thank-you note to the donor’s family, and expressed the wish to meet them. Connor and his mother travelled to Seattle where he met Erine for the first time.

Connor and Erine said they fell in love instantly. “I do not have any words to describe it…there was just this, you know, connection,” Erine said. The moment was “priceless”.

“To [think] that a part of someone you loved so much continues…not just continues [to exist] but [it is now] the life force for someone else,” she added.

Connor frequently visited the Roberts family and as they grew closer, Connor and Erineeventually became an official couple in 2011.

Every year, fewer transplants are performed in South Africa while the demand for organs grows daily. The first human heart transplant was performed by a South African doctor, Chris Bernard, who amazed the world.

“Thank you for saving my life”

Organs and blood donations help save millions of lives each year and help those suffering from life-threatening conditions. World Blood Donation Day is celebrated on Sunday, June 14 and the WHO is encouraging people to donate blood and save lives without asking for anything in return.  This year’s campaign theme is “Thank you for saving my life”,aimed at highlighting stories ofpeople whose lives have been saved through organ and/or blood donations. Hopefully the campaign will inspire and motive people to become organ and blood donors.








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