Arkansas widow hears husband’s heart beat again through transplant recipient

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas woman whose husband died nearly a year ago recently borrowed a few extra moments with the love of her life.

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Wes Honnell died of a traumatic brain injury following a September 2021 car accident, but Jessica Honnell celebrated her birthday two days early when she met David Beaird on Saturday and was able to hear her husband’s heart beating in Beaird’s chest, KTHV reported.

“Two families became one today and in a really beautiful way, and I’m just grateful for that,” Jessica Honnell told the TV station.

“I had many nights of laying my head on my husband’s chest and hearing his heartbeat, so even though he’s in heaven, now it felt very familiar and a safe place,” she added.

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Beaird, who had battled congestive heart failure for about four years, told KTHV that Wes Honnell’s heart gave him a second chance after his doctor told him that he had only six months to live without a transplant.

“You cannot express enough gratitude,” he said.

About three weeks ago, the man responsible for the car crash that killed Wes Honnell pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, unauthorized use of vehicle and first-offense driving while intoxicated, KARK-TV reported.

Ricky Roberts, 30, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for striking the Honnells’ vehicle while driving 90 mph. The couple’s 6-year-old, 3-year-old and 5-month-old children were spared, the TV station reported.

“I love you and I forgive you,” Jessica Honnell said during the court proceeding, later telling KARK , “If I expect God to extend grace to me, then I need to extend grace to others.”

“(Wes) was the love of my life [and] the most precious gift that God has ever given to me,” Honnell told KTHV.