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Donor's family meets organ recipient

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PHOENIX -

A Phoenix man's death saved a San Francisco woman's life and his family, who decided to donate his organs, met one of the recipients.

The donor's parents first reached out to the woman who received their son's organ.  They wrote letters back and forth, but met for the first time Friday and FOX 10's cameras were there.

It was an emotional introduction.  Tears flowed as first the patients, then siblings of 25-year-old Alvaro Nava embraced the woman who got his liver, which was donated after his death.

For Rosa Maria Nava, hugging Lucie Mewes was like hugging her son again.

"It's a miracle to have my son at this moment here with us," she said.

Alvaro Nava, a Phoenix DJ, committed suicide in 2011.  His family decided to donate his organs, something they admit, wasn't easy.  But Nava's death saved Mewes' life.

"It's painful to think about that, it's really painful," said Mewes.

Mewes received Nava's liver.  The 65-year-old from San Francisco had liver cancer and hepatitis C from a blood transfusion in the 1980s.

She says the transplant went smoothly.

"I'm so grateful and honored."

And Nava's family now finds comfort knowing his heart, liver and two kidneys saved lives.

"We've been waiting for it for a long time and we were wanting to see the people who actually received the organs," said Rosa.

Mewes added, "It's such a miracle that I got it and I'm alive because of their choice."

The Donor Network of Arizona connected the families.  The organization says more than 2,300 people in Arizona need a transplant.

Donate Life AZ - www.azdonorregistry.org
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