(image: WPMI) Massachusetts baby lives on in heart of Alabama hospital transplant recipient
Hope after heartbreak: A mother is desperately trying to find out if the seemingly impossible is true - does part of her daughter live on two years after her little girl died?
Sarah Piebes never stepped foot in the state of Alabama, but now there's nowhere else this Massachusetts mother would rather be, especially with the outpouring of support she's receiving from so many Alabama strangers.
Aubree Piebes stole her parents' hearts the second she came into this world. Her little smile, how she loved her big sister - she was everything.
“Aubree just wanted to be with somebody all of the time, and she actually passed away in my husband’s arms,” Sarah said.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome took Aubree away after three short weeks. It was Memorial Day of 2016, the same day the Piebeses had to make the decision to donate their baby's organs.
“My husband and I probably debated it for probably under a minute because it seemed like a no brainer to us after seeing what my dad had been through,” Sarah said.
Two years before Aubree passed away, her grandfather received a lifesaving heart transplant. Knowing the impact it could make, Sarah and her husband, Brandon, agreed.
Hours after Aubree passed, New England Donor Services took Aubree's heart valves. Heart valves can be preserved for transplants for up to ten years.
“Just last week, I found out one of the valves, the pulmonary valve, was transplanted into a baby or a really young child somewhere in Alabama,” Sarah said, adding, “but they weren't able to give me any more information.”
That information was enough to bring hope after heartbreak. Sarah immediately turned to social media sharing her family's plea for help finding closure.
In six days, 8,000 people shared her story.
“That alone makes me feel really, really good,” Sarah said. “That many people care enough to do that for someone they don't even know.”
The Piebeses are hoping, if you know any child or infant who received a transplant during the fall of 2017 in an Alabama hospital, you'll reach out.
They say it would mean everything to know Aubree may have saved a life and kept another family whole.