Losing a son can be hard for any mother and this Ames mother also went through the same when she lost her 19-year-old son to suicide after he faced several years of bullying.
When Joanie Zavala received a heartbreaking call one day saying her son, Teddy Perry, had died, her whole life had collapsed.
She knew nothing would be the same again and decided to make a decision that would change her life forever.
That night itself, she decided to donate Teddy’s organs, and since her son’s death, she has met four recipients of her son’s organs, which is completely unheard of.
66-year old Ed Melde, a father of seven, had received Teddy’s beating heart and met up with Joanie at Ada Hayden Heritage Park in Ames, where they spent time flipping through photos of Teddy.
Melde suffered from heart failure for more than a decade, and attributes the heart transplant, because of which he is alive now.
The family were given a chance to hear Teddy’s heart beat inside Melde, to which his grandmother says that it is the happiest sound in the world.
The Meldes say they cannot enough show how thankful they are to Teddy’s family to which Joanie said that seeing Melde alive because of Teddy is all she needs.
Melde will be returning back to work after 10 years.
Saving lives by donating organs is a very selfless decision and we salute Joanie’s decision to save human lives by this act of hers.