With Every Beat of His Heart-A Perfect Match


Jill Stephenson, Ben’s Mom and Judy Meikle, Ben’s heart recipient

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched-they must be felt with the heart. ~Helen Keller

Judy Meikle feels with “his” heart. He was an organ donor. Twenty-one year old Army Ranger, Benjamin Kopp was used to giving selfless service. Ben had two tours of duty in Iraq before his tour in Afghanistan.  Ben saved six of his fellow Rangers before being shot in the leg and losing a lot of blood during a firefight with the Taliban.

Ben’s leg was surgically repaired, but he wasn’t able to recover. He died on July 18, 2009 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Judy became the recipient of his heart. Miraculously, Benjamen’s heart was a perfect match for 60 year old, Judy.

How did this happen? A mutual friend, Maria Burud read both blogs– Judy’s Ticker and Pray for Ben. Judy updated her blog daily telling of her need for a new heart. Ben’s mom updated his blog sometimes hourly, asking for prayers for her son. On July 18, Ben’s mom, Jill announced that her son wasn’t going to make it and his organs would be donated.

Two days later, Judy was receiving “his” heart. Joseph Andrew Lee’s article quotes Judy, “Ben was credited with saving the lives of his fellow soldiers in combat and then he ended up saving and improving the quality of so many other lives, including mine. The ripple effect of that joy continues to pour in from the thousands of people affected by this heroic young man. It’s just incredible.”

It is estimated that Ben’s organ, bone, and tissue donations saved or enhanced the lives of 60 people. From the goodness of his heart, Ben is still showing us the best and most beautiful things in this world can be best felt by continuing to serve others.


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