Starts now... "my heart still beats and when i think of a marriage and a wedding i still see him" stef: a local man's life taken by gang violence.
But tonight his heart lives on ..
And has given another family a new lease on life.
Good evening... i'm stefani booroojian and i'm evan onstot thanks for joining us.
Evan: a ksee 24 news exclusive.
A fresno man killed by gang violence-- lives on.
His heart is now inside another man-- who's spent his life trying to stop gang violence.
Tonight the two families met face to face for the first time.
Lindsey henry was there-- she joins us now with the emotional story.
Imagine losing your soulmate in the blink of an eye.
A fresno woman lived that nightmare when her husband was fatally shot last year.
One of her last precious memories was the beat of her husbands heart.
But she takes comfort in the knowledge that her husbands heart lives on.
September 5th of 2014, the day veronica baeza's husband joseph's life was lost to seneseless gang violence.
The last day she felt his heart beat... until this week.
Veronica baeza, widow "every single day when i still hear his name it brings butterflies to my stomach" the same day veronica beaza lost her husband, the dillard family received a a life changing phone call.
Bishop william larue dillard, phd "we've got a heart for the bishop, get him over here right away" the two families who never would have never met ... who's lives will now be forever connected just a year ago, while working on his car in his fresno neighborhood, joseph baeza was shot in the back of the head .
Some of the final memories veronica has of her husband was in hospital by his side listening to his heartbeat.
As joseph's life was ending- bishop william dillard said he was on the verge of death....for years dillard suffered from complications due to an enlarged heart.
Just two days earlier he'd been told he'd be taken off the transplant list because of his age and deteriorating condition.
Stephanie dillard, daughter "they decided to extend him till the end of september and then we got the blessed call on september 5th" at 78 and a half.... the los angeles area bishop recieved the heart he'd been praying for.
Bishop william larue dillard, phd "i was told at cedar- sainai hospital by doctor tabachigawa that i am now the oldest person in the world to receive a heart transplant" on sunday- dillard and baezas wife met for the first time a year after the heart transplant that gave him his life back.
Veronica baeza, widow "he was shocked to hear that the heart he holds was someone, a victim, of street violence" for 58 years bishop william dillard has devoted his life to helping others... specifically those caught up in gangs.
Bishop william larue dillard, phd "i was always with the family and trying to interface with the gangs, just hatred from one to the other from monrovia to dewartia and arcadia" now he works with at risk youth, working to get them involved in church..
So that they have positive role models.
As a way to say thank you, the bishop invited the baeza family... to a special sunday service... bishop william larue dillard, phd "this is a joy unspeakable and just sharing it with my fellowship they wanted to be sure that they just rolled out the red carpet for the baeza family and bringing them in and putting them up and letting them know that god has connected us together" when the dillards and baeza's met at bishop william dillards church - second baptist church in monrovia.
It was a day full of hugging... praising... and swapping stories.
Veronica baeza, widow "i was his other half for 17 year and the love i have for him will continue to live on because that person does not have to be alive to love" the dillards gave the baeza family a dvd of josephs heartbeat so that anytime veronica wanted