Heart transplant recipient meets family of girl who saved his life


WICHITA, KS (CNN NEWSOURCE) – A family that suffered a horrific tragedy is now celebrating.

A Kansas toddler was killed by an electric shock at a carnival two years ago.

Now, her family is meeting the young boy who received her heart to save his life.

“Sweet baby Abel was just 4-months old when he received our Pressley’s heart of gold” – These are the words Pressley Bartonek’s grandma wrote to Abel’s Falcon Protiva’s family.   

“She was 15-months old and she was electrocuted with 290 volts of electricity at the carnival at Towne West,” Mary Ellen Babcock, Pressley’s grandma, said.

Pressley’s parents were faced with the most difficult decision, donating her organs.

Not only does Pressley live on in these pictures and memories, she also lives on in Abel.

“So Abel was born with HLHS, Hypo-Plastic Left Heart Syndrome. He was essentially born with half a heart. Their gift of life saved Abel’s. He was days away from not surviving,” Wendy Wees, Abel’s Mom, said.

Now, Pressley’s family hosts a car show every year in her honor to raise safety awareness and money for organizations that helped her.

“We have a very special guest this year. His name is Abel, he was my granddaughter’s heart recipient,” Patrick Babcock, Pressley’s grandpa, said.

“We’ve never done anything like this before, but it’s what we do to honor her and to help us in our grieving process,” Mary Ellen said.

The two families met just a year ago and have become one.

“Little Abel over there, the similarities are amazing to me,” Patrick said.

“You could tell that Pressley was inside him and still wanted to live on,” Wees said.

“So for this day we are forever blessed hearing our baby’s heartbeat inside your baby’s chest.”

“A little bit of Pressley is here with us today through Abel,” Mary Ellen said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Tracking COVID-19 in the Bay Area

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News