An event highlighting organ donation brought together the mother of an Appleton murder victim and the man who received her son’s heart.
Ben Adler of Illinois received the heart of 25-year-old Joshua Richards of Green Bay last December, after Richards was shot and killed at Appleton’s Luna Lounge. Adler was attending an organ donation event at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah Wednesday, where he had a chance to connect with Richards’ mother, Jackie Pische.
Adler got Richards’ heart, and he says Pische reaches out to him through letters and on Facebook. He hopes Wednesday’s meeting is just one day in a long friendship.
Pische called it a “bittersweet day,” since it’s only been about six months since they were at the hospital with her son, and received word that he wasn’t going to make it. However, she says the seven people who received organs from her son has provided some hope that his death wasn’t for nothing.
Richards’ donated organs went to seven people. A 28-year-old Neenah man is awaiting a trial for his murder.