Three months before Nick Marbach died in 2019, he became an organ donor. On Saturday, his parents were able to meet the recipients of those organs and hear his heartbeat once again.
One year, three months and 24 days is exactly how long Gary and Deb Marbach of Sarasota County have been without their son, Nick.
“He was a gearhead, he loved Harley-Davidsons, had a heart of gold, loved to build things, loved his kids,” said Deb. “He was a good guy.”
Nick died suddenly but his legacy lives on forever. Three months before his death, he became an organ donor.
That decision saved Scott Stevens’ life.
“I was diagnosed with Giant Cell Myocarditis which is a very rare autoimmune disease that attacks the heart,” Stevens said.
“They said ‘you’re not leaving the hospital until we find you a heart,'” he said.
The heart he got was Nick’s.
“It’s one of the very few selfless acts that we have anymore because he’s never going to realize the benefit because he’s already gone, but yet it was something he did knowing that he would not receive anything in return for doing this,” Stevens said.
Even though Stevens couldn’t thank Nick, he was able to thank Nick’s family.
“I started kind of tearing up right in the parking lot I knew that it was going to be a lot different than just meeting a couple of friends,” said Stevens.
Then came the moment Deb and Gary had been waiting for all this time: the chance for them to hear their son again.
“I heard it very faintly but just to see him in person and to know that Nick’s heart is in him, it was able to save his life, has been a lot,” said Deb.
“We may have lost a son but we gained more of our family,” said Gary.
Now, they have a bond that cannot be broken.