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'His heart beats for two': Mother thankful for organ donor who saved her and her new baby

Posted at 9:50 AM, Oct 10, 2019

BOYLE COUNTY, Ky. — Alisha Emerson is recovering at home after childbirth. Like any mom, she's tired but very thankful.

"He's an amazing baby, all he does is eat and sleep," she says.

But what makes this feat even more remarkable is that Emerson underwent a heart transplant in 2014. She was diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy in 2011, and was later put on a long list of recipients for a heart transplant.

Her prayers were answered on Valentine's Day in 2014. She received her heart from 21-year-old Blake Adkins, who died from a brain aneurysm. Emerson remains close to Adkins' mother Donna, who is overjoyed that her son lives on through Emerson and now her new baby boy, too.

"She was so excited because her son was not only able to keep me alive, but he was also to keep my baby alive as well," Emerson said. "I mean my heart, his heart, beats for two."

Emerson says her family is now complete. She married her husband Bradley a year ago, and her family grew with his two children. Emerson also has an adopted son. Now with her new baby, Collings, she feels like her family is complete. But she knows it's a family that almost never was, and wouldn't have been without Adkins' sacrifice.

She urges everyone to register to be a donor. She says she and her baby are proof it saves lives.

This story was originally published by Eleanor Buckley on WLEX.