Family Meets Recipient Of Son’s Heart

By Kym Gable

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One family’s gift this holiday season is something few can imagine – they met the recipient of their son’s heart.

Karen and Don Brill, originally from Mount Washington, met 51-year-old “Louis” in Nevada on Dec. 11. Louis did not want his last name published. Karen Brill says it was “an amazing” experience as she listened to the heartbeat with a stethoscope.

The family moved from Pittsburgh to Nevada about 13 years ago. In February of 2009, 16-year-old Aric, a charitable, athletic and gifted teen, was gunned down during a robbery in Las Vegas.

The gunman, a suspected gang member, is still on the run. After his death, Aric’s heart, kidneys, pancreas, liver and lung were donated.

Karen Brill is in town visiting relatives for the holidays and raising awareness about organ donation.

“If somebody can’t use their organs anymore, other people can,” she told KDKA’s Kym Gable. “You know, life goes on and Aric’s life goes on through other people.”

  • Patty Dippold

    How amazing!!!! It is great to see these stories. It is a shame that the media only covers them during the holidays. These things are happening daily right here in Pittsburgh. There are also many donors and recepients giving back and living fuller lives around Western Pa. It would be nice to have an indepth study of the transplant culture in the area.


      Thank God, finally a story about good people.

      Christmas is about Jesus’ sacrifice for our sinful behavior, loving Mammon instead of truth.


      It’s about giving, but not plastic junk from China.

    • Mike

      I just can’t imagine the joy of picking up that stethoscope and listening to my son’s heart beating! That is truly wonderful.

      To take it a step further, I wonder if the recipient has developed any of the characteristics of the boy. Sometimes that happens, just wondering.

  • Nathan

    How touching. If that were my son I would bust out into tears to hear his heart beating again.

  • kellyerusinack

    i agree with patty d. the media needs to report more of these stories. not enough people sign up for organ donation, many do not even discuss it with friends or family, and die with organs that can help save the life of another person. i know that there are lots of people who have religious or other ethical reasons not to donate – it shouldn’t be mandatory, like they were trying to do in new york. but more people should be considering this, not just at this time of the year, but all the time. how beautiful that this family was able to save the lives of so many other people with their selfless gift of their son’s organs. what a beautiful, handsome young man he was, obviously, inside and out.

    • Karen VT

      An “Opt Out” system is the answer for Organ donation. By default everybody is IN and you have to opt out if you don’t want to donate… then we’ll know who all the narcossists are :) And while I am on the topic of “Opt in” and “Opt Out”… an “opt in” system is better for pornography then at least then we know who all the perverts are!

      • Will

        I officially “opt in” to leave you my brain when I die.

  • rob

    Maybe if the media made people more aware of how organ donation helps people, folks would be more receptive to signing up at their local department of motor vehicles. What could be better than the gift of life for both the giver and receiver?

  • Jarhead6981

    I just read your attached link. I’m sorry, I was wrong about you. YOU ARE MUCH MORE OF A THREAT O OUR SOCIETY THAN I THOUGHT. You actually BELIEVE it was known and set up by our own government to take down the World Trade Center? No more Mr. Nice guy here….I now go on the offensive. You are a moron, without an inkling of thought provoking views of fact. Only simplistic diatribe that only people like Glenn Beck would agree with. I am as afraid of people like you destroying this great country as any radical terrorist. You spread your wrongful views and spread nothing but hate. I accept your gift with glee….Yes! I Now Hate YOU….with a great passion. I believe I am on the same side of the isle, as is said about politics, but you are not my brethren in view of this country. You are an idiot. Simple so you can understand it…more-over, a idiot of humanity with moron tendencies. Stop using good people’s oxygen.

    • Jarhead6981

      What I sound like is a true American with a heart. Try it.

      Pantywaste? After 28 years in the Corps and acquiring the rank of Master Sergeant in Communication Logistics some punk with views out of the dark ages calls ME a pantywaste? DAMN, WHY CAN’T THESE PEOPLE MEET ME IN PERSON WITH THESE WORDS OF COWARDICE.

      If you cancer-of-the-brain children will actually READ what I say, you will be miles ahead of your other brothers in moron-town. I have no problem with what you say in the proper forum. This was NOT a political story and you just attack because you thought I was against his view. I believe in some but not all of what he said. Do you also think America itself plotted and carried out the attack on the World Trade Center? I was eluding to the fact he wasn’t at a political forum. Your attack on a fellow Right-wing Libertarian speaks volumes. The problem is that other lefty-loonies also read these and see us on the right fighting each other. It gives them hope. The same I feel when reading your moronic retorts to logical human emotion and correction of fact…it scars me about the future with people like you at the helm.

      To finish. Bring your moronic child-like posts of spewing chunks of hate and BS. I expect no less form you from the less than notable responses so far.

      Stick to the subject matter children.

      • CleanFun

        It’s not so much the truth that people like you are afraid of, it’s what the truth implies that threatens to tear apart the false reality you’ve created and deliberately chose to live in. You embarrass yourself.

      • twan

        Oh Wow, a tough gy, Lawdy Lawd Hep Me Hep Me.

  • Will

    May this young man rest in peace forever and God Bless his parents for providing life to others after the tragic loss of their son. A story, such as this, during the Christmas Season is beyond heart warming.

    • Merry Christmas

      Excellent comment, Will. You said everything I was thinking. RIP Aric. I pray for strength for his family to cope with their devastating loss. And to Louis, I’m so glad you returned the generosity to Aric’s family. As you can see, you made Mrs. Brill so happy and reinforced the truth that her son lives on through you.

  • xjoyce

    Karen, My heart goes out to you and your family, that was a wonderful thing u did for all the people who got a organ from your son. He does live on honey. from your old friend Joyce in Mt. Washington love you

  • TheLibertine

    Hank Warren is doing what too many are afraid to do: speak the truth. You sound like a product of institutionalized thinking to me. You probably voted for that moron McCain because he was the lesser of two evils. Preach on, Brother Hank! The revolution will not be televised!

  • Bryan Abbott

    If there was a Noble Prize for inappropriateness I’m sure you would have won.

    A boy is murdered, you can see his face up there at the top of the screen. He looks like anyone’s son, mine or yours. Either he or his parents made the decision to to donate his organs and in his last act as a living, breathing human he saves another mans life.

    And you want to promote a politician while his final story is being read.

    You’re a sick man.

    • Zeechus

      Who’s Hank?

  • seanpatriot


  • Asian view

    This will be the new wave of the future as more and more people will desperately need organs and healthy young people will be nothing more than walking talking “banks”.
    These organs sell in the open market for tens of thousands for each organ. It is average for a liver or spleen to sell at 30 thousand or more. Hearts and lungs cost even more.
    As crime rises our teenagers are easy victims for organ harvesting. It is a real danger that we need to take seriously.

  • Nobommunism for me

    God bless the boy and his family.
    God damn the Obama voter and illegal alien that killed him.

    • Steve


    • Prince

      what the f…!? what does obama have to do with ANY part of this story!? my god, i bet you cry about bill clinton when it snows!

  • Bubba

    This is a moving story and it is so sad this child had to lose his life but so fortunate that this man was able to make use of his heart and I am sure his other organs likewise helped others. I would encourage everyone to be an organ donor, it is easy usually just check a box on your drivers license reneweal.

  • Paolo

    I bet Louis’ last name is jewish, and he didnt want to be associated with the organ theft scandals in Israel. He is probably a casino executive in Las Vegas. I guess, he should need a new heart anyway.

    • Aaron

      How you could make such a cynical reply to this story is disturbing. You need some serious training in compassion, altruism and understanding gratitude. The only observations you have to offer are negative, and that’s sad

  • Top Posts —

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  • Michele

    Karen, This is beautiful and touches each of us deeply. Peace and Love across the miles, cousin! We love you all.

  • Jeff A Smyth

    I too am a heart recipient. At age 64 I received the heart of a 22 year old who was critically injured in a construction accident. After almost 2 years we were able to meet the family and it was an emotional experience for all but did provide some closure. Now I can play with my grandkids and play tennis at a reasonabley high level. It was truly one of God’s miracles. God bless America’s health care system.

  • single_payer

    This is a very selective blog, and you probably won’t print this either.
    Random organ donation without equal access to healthcare is unethical.
    Donation between familiar parties is.

    • marty

      “Equal Access” is a questionable term. If you chose to purchase insurance before you got sick, then you should have equal access. But choosing not to spend the money on insurance is a decision to opt out of equal access. Insurance is expensive, but so is the research, training and equipment that goes into health care.

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  • Coasty

    I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good things, therefore, that I can do, any kindness that I can show a fellow being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
    Stephen Grellet


    Finally, a story about Christmas spirit, instead of the evil, Madison Avenue, Santa Claus, and his ridiculous buying campaign which serves Mammon.

    Christmas is about Jesus’ sacrifice for our sinful behavior, loving Mammon instead of truth.


  • kc

    More people would be an organ donor if it did not go to the highest bidder. The family cannot choose who gets the organ. It is a great story, but they need to provide the true process of who gets the organ and why. That is why I am not an organ donor.

  • Ted

    God Bless the Brills for making the decision to donate Aric’s organs so that others may receive, through their heartbreaking loss. I think it is a gift that they were able to meet Louis and know that in a way their son lives on and for Louis to meet them and fully accept the gift that he received. My Dad died from a heart attack in 1980 and his corneas were donated, I find that a blessing.

  • David Borders

    I am in tears reading this story. It takes a helluva lot to make me cry. God Bless Aric and his family. The word inspirational doesn’t seem to quite do them justice. I am awestruck of this family.

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