In April 2017, Rob Maresca died unexpectedly after falling off a ladder at work. He had recently celebrated his 30th birthday when the tragedy occurred.
Rob’s devastated parents, Bob and Marla, decided to donate their son’s organs to help save the lives of 15 other people. One of these recipients was Elisabeth Kepley, a former portrait artist who had been experiencing heart failure. Elisabeth had been on the transplant list for a year before she got the lifesaving news.
Bob and Marla also gifted Elisabeth with a set of Rob’s old paints and art supplies. He, too, was an artist.
As a way to show her immense gratitude for Rob and his family, Elisabeth vowed to paint Rob’s portrait as soon as she was ready to paint again.
A year passed, and thanks to Rob’s heart, 58-year-old Elisabeth can now bike, hike, run, and even participate in triathlons. Rob has given her her life back.
And so it was finally time to present Rob’s parents with the portrait Elisabeth had promised herself she’d create.
In this clip, watch the tear-jerking moment Elisabeth lifts the sheet off the canvas — giving Bob and Marla the chance to once again look into the eyes of their son and see him smiling back.
“The message I hope that my story portrays is that organ donation is the most loving thing that a person can do once a person can no longer use their organs,” Elisabeth told Caters News. “The gift of healing begins for the donor’s family when they decide to give the gift of life to another person.”
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