'He gave the ultimate gift': How the tragic death of a young man gave others a second chance at life

Between his volunteer work for people with special needs and his general thrill for life, Sam Schumacher made a mark on this world at just 22 years old.

"Sam wasn't just the best buddy to his friends, he was the kid that the moms and dads appreciated and enjoyed. He had a special way of connecting with people," says Sam's mother, Corrie.

But no one could've ever imagine the legacy he would leave behind, and far too soon. Last summer, Sam was in a devastating motorcycle accident in Redmond.

"It was really hard for everybody to comprehend, Sam's gone," his mother says. "When you're in the hospital, and realize the reality of the situation and the conversation is brought up about organ donation, it's kind of surreal."

Sam's mother says the family never really discussed that Sam was a registered organ donor. But for the young man who always did so much for others, his family knew it was perfectly fitting.

"Through organ donation, he was going to give the ultimate gift to some many lives," she says.

Sam's family would never be the same. But his mother Corrie says knowing he is living on through others has given her a sense of peace, so she decided to write a letter to his recipients.

The man who now carries Sam's heart, Jeff Siddiqui , says receiving the letter and seeing a photo of Sam for the first time was life changing.

"I saw him, his beautiful gentle face, and I saw his mother. I cannot even imagine putting myself in her shoes. It's a thought my mind can't accept. So when I connect that, it's overwhelming," Jeff says.

Jeff, a father and husband, was perfectly healthy, until one day he collapsed. It seemed his heart was failing, quickly and suddenly. He was hospitalized not knowing if he'd receive a heart in time or die with his own.

"It was excruciatingly tough for my family," he says.

Since receiving Sam's heart, Jeff has gotten his life back, something he's fondly shared with Sam's family.

"I don't have a word to say how amazing it is to know that Sam's heart is out there providing life to Jeff. I'm just so overwhelmed with pride, joy, and grief and everything. Sam brought so much life in his life, it's absolutely perfect that he's bringing so much life in his passing," Corrie Schumacher says.

Corrie says she already feels an incredible bond with Jeff, and can't wait to meet him. She hopes to one day hear back from Sam's other recipients and hear how they're doing.