When he regained his strength to meet Clark, Jean Paul and his mother brought an additional gift: a stethoscope. Describing their encounter, Clark remarked, “He walked in and just embraced me. His embrace was strong, much like Nick’s… And when I listened to the heartbeat, it was robust and brimming with vitality.” The sound resonated “powerfully through the stethoscope, resembling a rhythmic drumbeat.” Clark fondly recollected feeling an extraordinary connection with Jean Paul because of his striking resemblance to Nick.
Following their initial meeting, the two families maintained contact, forming a unique extended family bond. Armstrong expressed how she regards Clark, her surviving children, and even her grandchildren as “forever” part of their collective circle. Jean Paul proudly displays a photo of Nick on his bookshelf. Armstrong reflected on their relationship with their hero, saying, “We feel like we know him… We speak of Nick as if he’s a cherished member of our family, because he truly is. He’s no longer just a donor; he’s Nick.”
She continued, emphasizing the importance of discussing the topic of organ donation, which can be uncomfortable for many. Armstrong stated, “Nobody wants to broach the subject of what happens when someone passes away. It’s a sensitive situation… But it’s incredibly important because individuals like Jean Paul wouldn’t have a chance at life without organ donation.” According to the Department of Health and Human Services, there are currently 100,000 patients of all ages waiting for a life-saving transplant call