LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — An unimaginable loss is turning into an unbreakable bond between two familie after a Texas woman received the heart of a young Lafayette man who was murdered three years ago.
Matthew Carter,17 was sitting in his prized red Camaro at a Lafayette apartment complex when two boys, only 13 and 14 years old, attempted to rob Matthew and allegedly shot him in the head.
Hours later, officers found Matthew, a Comeaux High School senior, still alive.
Four days later, however, Matthew died in the hospital, but his life was not in vain. His heart has saved the life of a woman from Port Arthur, Texas, and this week, the two families finally met face to face.
“It was as if I was meeting family,” Troylynn Cador said.
That’s how Troylynn Cador describes meeting Matthew Carter’s family for the first time, and the day held the utmost significance.
“Finally, we met on the day that I received his heart, which was January 24,” she added.
Troylynn had been suffering from congestive heart failure since 2005. After going through five pacemakers, her heart was giving out. Matthew’s heart saved her life. Troylynn believes God put them together.
“I always spoke to Matthew, so we had a connection from the very beginning. Not just a heart in my body but a spiritual connection,” she said.
Matthew’s parents say they felt that connection when they met Troylynn.
“Troylynn actually brought a stethoscope. We got to hear Matthew’s heart, both Chelline and I. It was emotional,” Jerry Carter, Matthew’s father, said.
Jerry and Chelline Carter say they’ve also met others who their son helped, through bone, cornea and liver transplants.
“Matthew in the Bible means gift from God. Matthew was our gift, and now he’s been able to give something even after he was taken from us,” Jerry said.
“He’s just helped so many people, and he was taken from us in such a horrific way that this really helps us to be able to connect with the parts of him that are still here,” Chelline added.
Matthew’s parents say this is how he’d want to be remembered, as he loved helping other people. Troylynn Cador says she’ll continue honoring his legacy.
“Matthew was the type of person that he was. He was loving, caring, and giving. I share the same qualities, so his heart just fit right into my life,” Troylynn said.
Matthew’s parents encourage others to become an organ donor to save lives.
Troylynn also said her grandson was murdered in December. She says her grandson and Matthew both come to her as two butterflies, always together.