Watch the beautiful moment a teen reunites with her late brother's heart recipient

By Samantha Luiz
18 March 2016

While many teens wish for a pair of their favorite sneakers or gadgets as a birthday gift, Monique Salinas had the ultimate desire.

While many teens wish for a pair of their favourite sneakers or the latest gadgets as a birthday gift, Monique Salinas had the ultimate desire.

All the Texas teenager wanted for her quinceañera (or 15th birthday celebration) was to hear her late brother Mikey's heart beating inside the girl who received both his heart and kidneys in an improbable double transplant.

He had died at the age of 5 in a car accident 10 years ago.


"He was a loving child," revealed mom Melissa.

"Anywhere he went he would talk to you and make you laugh and smile. He loved going to the ranch, barbequing...he loved life. At 5 years old, he captured the hearts of many."

As it happened, Melissa had already arranged for Aubrey Reeves, the 18-year-old donor recipient to surprise Monique at the party.


"I knew Monique was probably going to be very emotional, very excited, and a little sad," said Aubrey, who drove 10 hours from her hometown for the occasion.

"It's not her brother, it's somebody else. But I knew that it was a really good thing for us to meet."

The teenager was 8 years old when she received Mikey's heart.

As a result of a congenital heart defect, the organ was actually her third heart. Her body had rejected the previous two.

3 "On June 17, 2005 [Aubrey] received Mikey's heart," said Cheryl, Aubrey's mom. "It was six months of waiting, but they said it was the perfect match. She has not had any problems with her heart. It's just been wonderful." The day of the reunion was an emotional one.

"I felt a connection to her right away," said Melissa.

For Monique, having Aubrey at her party was the best gift ever.

"Meeting Aubrey was like no other surprise.

Read more: ‘He was about to die on us’: infant’s miraculous recovery after his heart stopped just hours before transplant

"It was a very special and amazing gift that no one else could give me. I knew I couldn't have my brother there physically, but I had Aubrey, and he was there in her," said Monique.

"Monique just embraced Aubrey and I think she whispered 'Don't let go,'" revealed Cheryl.

"Melissa [Hernandez] put her arms around both of them and I put my arms around Melissa.

Read more: Dad awaiting heart transplant flies across the country to surprise daughter before wedding

"It was surreal and such a beautiful moment.

"Aubrey is really looking at it as another family," she continued. "She's really embracing the idea that she's a part of their family because she has this little boy's heart."

Watch the emotional moment below:


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