Woman meets recipient of kidney she donated in memory of late husband

Woman meets recipient of kidney she donated in memory of late husband

TAUNTON — After her husband George was murdered, Rosemary Heath has committed herself to helping others.

"As hard as that was for me to be able to say, you have to make a positive of it. That’s the way we lived our lives, moving forward in a positive way, putting other people first. How do you do that now when you’ve lost the love of your life?" said Heath, of Taunton.

Five months ago, she decided to move forward by literally giving part of herself to a stranger.

Content Continues Below

"I had no emotions about donating the kidney, I made the promise and moved forward there was no other feelings until today," she said.

The recipient of her kidney is no longer a stranger. She and her whole family met Rosemary over dinner on Sunday.

"My family grew is what we said tonight," she said.

Nearly three years ago, George and Rosemary Heath were eating dinner at Bertucci's at the Silver City Galleria Mall in Taunton when a man with a knife stormed in and attacked a pregnant waitress.

George stepped between the man and the waitress, saving her and sacrificing himself.

"We had both signed up to be bone marrow donors on organ donor websites and we have the conversations and the night that he died, I was told that he couldn’t donate his organs and I was crushed and when I walked into this house, I thought, 'I will make it right,'" Rosemary said.

So she did what he couldn't.

The man who killed George was killed by an off-duty sheriff's deputy. His wife is on the kidney transplant team at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

That's where she went to donate her kidney.

And after meeting the woman who is getting a second chance at life because of her kidney, she says it's all coming full circle.

"It only happened because he isn’t here, and I’d give anything to have him here, but I can’t and I can’t change it so you have to look at what you can do to make it better and by doing these things it makes it better," she said.