Transplants

Mom spends holidays with teen who received son's donated heart

Janece Risty celebrated the holidays with Lance Frye who received her son's donated heart. Inset: Risty with son Tyler.

Janece Risty celebrated the holidays with Lance Frye who received her son's donated heart. Inset: Risty with son Tyler.  (Fox 29.)

The mother of a Georgia teen who died two years ago celebrated the holidays with a boy who is alive today because of her son’s heart. Tyler Liebl's organs, bone and tissue went to 23 different people across the country after he was declared brain dead in 2014, but his heart ended up with now-19-year-old Lance Frye in Pittsburgh, Inside Edition reported.

“Tyler wanted to help others,” Janece Risty, Tyler’s mother, told Inside Edition. “I just felt it was the right thing to do.”

Tyler, who complained of a headache before suddenly collapsing and suffering massive bleeding on the brain, saved Frye, who was born with a congenital heart defect and had three unsuccessful heart surgeries. At the time of Tyler’s death, Frye’s heart was failing.

“My entire family felt extremely grateful for us being able to get a heart,” Frye told Inside Edition. “You can never express how grateful you are to them.”

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The families, who first connected in 2016, now consider themselves relatives of one another, and got together over Christmas in Newnan, Georgia, to celebrate both boys. 

“It gives me a lot of joy, especially since Christmas is celebrating Christ’s life and we celebrate Tyler’s life because he is with Jesus,” Risty told Inside Edition. “We celebrate Lance’s life because of Tyler. It’s great to know how Lance’s life improved because of Tyler.”