Man saved by organ donor heads to Salt Lake City to meet donor's family

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jun 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-14 19:25:24-04
Rick Brittel and his wife are packing up for a summer trip like millions of Americans do every summer.
However, they won’t be headed to a national park or the coast, but instead will be meeting a family of strangers who's family member allowed for Rick to survive.
In 2014, Rick’s heart started to fail, and he was given an artificial heart valve. His condition was precarious, and his health swung between healthy and sick.
“There were times where I thought, ‘you know what. This is not going to work for me. It’s not going to work,’” Rick explained.
In 2015, a complete stranger gave him a new lease on life. A new heart was donated from an organ donor, and he was taken into surgery for a heart transplant.
After a year of recovery, Rick will have the opportunity to meet the donor’s family for the first time in Salt Lake City.
"I don't have the words to thank them because literally they saved my life, he saved my life," Said Rick. 
Rick still does not know the name of the man who passed away and gave up his organs, but he does know that the donor also helped save the lives of three other people.
Rick may not know what he is going to say to the donor’s loved ones; he hopes his smiling face will give the family closure and relief knowing that the end of one life resulted in the saving of another.