A mom from California named Lauren Santoro lost her teen daughter Isabel to suicide. Isabel's heart was donated to a woman in Oregon, and for the first time in two years, Santoro was able to hear her daughter's heartbeat. 

heart transplant story
Credit: Gonzalo Aragon/Shutterstock

Two years ago, a mom from California named Lauren Santoro tragically lost her 14-year-old daughter Isabel, who died from suicide. As she and Isabel's loved ones said their goodbyes, they made a decision to donate her kidneys, liver, and skin, which helped nine people, according to CBS station KOVR-TV. Her heart was also donated to a woman from Oregon named Vicky.The 60-year-old had struggled with heart problems throughout her life. 

Before receiving the heart transplant, she told KOIN-TV, "I couldn't walk 3 feet. I gasped for air constantly. So I went up to OHSU and they said, 'You're not leaving.' ... Then pretty soon they come in the door and said, 'We have found a perfect match for you.'" 

Fast-forward to Friday, July 20 when Lauren and Vicky met at a press conference, where the grieving mom heard her daughter's heartbeat for the first time in two years.

Santoro told the news station that it gives her hope and peace knowing her daughter's love and light lives on in someone else.

It also bears noting that Vicky has taken it upon herself to make a difference in Isabel's name. In the wake of her passing, the Santoro family learned that Isabel had been bullied. Now, Vicky has committed herself to the cause of raising awareness around the troubling issue.

"I have a job to do," Vicky told KOIN-TV. "I have to let word get out about bullying children and what can happen. ... I am so grateful to have that little girl's hear. My goal in life is just to make her as happy and proud of me as possible."

Those must be truly comforting words for Lauren. As Vicky aspires to help others, Lauren shared that she's heartened by the fact that her daughter also made a difference in other people's lives. "We were always so proud of Isabel during the 14 years she was with us on Earth," she said, "And feel even more proud now."