She got a second chance at life, thanks to the heart of another, and now Susan Vieira (64) has vowed to do everything she can to ensure her donor’s dreams don’t go unfulfilled.
Susan Vieira (64), has vowed to do everything she can to ensure her donor’s dreams don’t go unfulfilled
Last September, 21-year-old nursing student Kristina Chesterman died after being hit by a drunken driver while riding home on her bicycle. But even after her death, Chesterman's legacy lives on — in the lives of those she’s since saved. Chesterman had opted to be an organ donor, and thanks to that choice, at least five people have been gifted a new chance at life.
One of those people is Susan Vieira, who received Chesterman’s heart. Vieira had suffered from congestive heart failure and would’ve likely died without a transplant. “I never dreamed in my life ... how they would remediate my heart,” she said.
Now, Vieira — who is touch with Chesterman’s family — says she wants to do something to honor the selfless woman who saved her. She’s promised to do all she can to fulfill the bucket list that the young woman had made for herself when she was alive. “She wanted to fly a plane, she wanted to travel extensively and she wanted to ride a camel,” Chesterman's mom said.
The young woman’s bucket list also included running through a poppy field and riding in a hot-air balloon. Vieira, who is still in recovery, said that “Kristina’s waiting there to advise [her]” once she’s up to the challenge.
One of the other patients saved by Chesterman’s selflessness is a baby boy named Jayden, who received part of Chesterman’s liver.
>> Fly a plane
>> Ride a camel
>> Travel a lot
>> Run through a poppy field
>> Ride on a hot-air balloon