Matthew Heisler, who was a University of North Dakota student, wasn't even born when Tom Meeks went to serve in the Vietnam War, but now the two are forever connected.
Heisler, 21, died after a house fire earlier this year, but his heart now continues to beat in Meeks, KARE-TV reported. That continued heartbeat is something that Heisler's family was able to hear again this week, eight months after their son and brother's death.
Ahead of the meeting, Meeks told the news station that he had told Matt his family was coming to visit that day.
Watch KARE's footage of the bittersweet moment:
"This is awesome," Jared Heisler said, choking up after listening to his son's heart beat in another man.
Matt Heisler's mother just said "thank you," to which Meeks responded that it was his pleasure.
Jared Heisler remembered his then 16-year-old son asking what he had just done when he checked the box to become an organ donor.
"He made the decision that if life ever slipped away from him, he would give life to someone else," Jared Heisler told the news station.
KARE reported that Meeks was rejected for transplants at several hospitals because of his age, but the Mayo Clinic gave him a chance. That chance is giving the man more time with his wife and four grandchildren.
Meeks, who suffered from a rare heart condition, wasn't the only one helped by Heisel's gift. According to KARE, Matthew Heisler's decision to become an organ donor helped 60 people, including two women who needed kidneys and a 61-year-old man who received his liver.