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Tragedy turned into blessing

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OKLAHOMA CITY-Saturday marked a special meeting for two Oklahoma families as they met for the first time.

They share a bond not many people have as they turn one family’s tragedy into another family’s blessing.

Little Tony is the closest Sam Foster-Eller will ever get to her son Ted Foster, Jr.

Foster-Eller said, “I got my last goodbye. I got my last hug. I got my last I love you.”

Her son Ted passed away in a tragic work related accident in 2009.

Now, she gets those hugs and kisses indirectly.

Not from Ted, but from those to whom he’s given life.

Ted was an organ donor and some of his organs were given to five different people.

She said, “One of the gentlemen who received a lung, he calls me every Sunday night. He’s ten years older than I am and calls me and says ‘Hey mom. How are you doing?’ It’s heartwarming.”

Six-year-old Tony got Ted’s kidney and he’s the only recipient Ted’s mother had not met.

That was, until Saturday.

She said, “It has brought closure if you will. I lost a son but these families have reached out to me, adopted me as a mom.”

Where part of one mother’s life ended, another began.

Marlene White, Tony’s mother, said, “My birthday was the day of Ted’s accident and the next day he passed away. He saved my son’s life.”

Now White shares a bond with a woman she just met for the first time and a hero she’ll only know through the life her son is now getting to live.

White said, “I thank God she’s the person she is and raised her son the way she did and that they made the best choice for him to save all these lives.”

After receiving Ted’s kidney, Tony began walking for the first time in his life.

His almost daily doctor visits have dropped to just once a month.