ST CLAIRSVILLE, O.H. (WNCT) — A woman who underwent more than 20 heart procedures before receiving a heart transplant met the father of her donor in an emotional gathering in St Clairsville, Ohio, footage released to Storyful on August 21 shows.

Katherine Herrmann was 21 years old when she received a heart transplant in July 2022, the Cleveland Clinic said. She was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart condition called Shone’s complex shortly after her birth, and had open-heart surgery when she was just a month old.

Hermann underwent maintenance surgeries and frequent doctor visits before being diagnosed with heart failure when she was 18 years old. She received her heart transplant a little over a year after being placed on the transplant waiting list in June 2021, the Cleveland Clinic said.

Video from the Cleveland Clinic shows Herrmann hugging and thanking the father of her deceased donor, Desiree Burge, on June 24, 2023. Herrmann can be heard telling Desiree’s father, Darrell Conner, that her new heart has allowed her to run a 5k, maintain a job, and be back in school. “Nothing would have been able to happen without that gift,” Herrmann said of her new heart.

As an organ donor, Burge saved five lives, the Cleveland Clinic said. “We know she made a difference, and we find comfort and pride in that,” her father told the Cleveland Clinic.

Credit: Cleveland Clinic via Storyful