A Miracle 10 years in the making: The life of Mandi Jo Seefeldt

(ABC 6 News) – Mandi Jo Seefeldt lost her life in a car crash back in 2014, but it was from that moment on the winds of fate began to brew up a miracle.

They say when one life ends another begins and it certainly rings true in this case.

Family and friends described Mandi as a giving person, and after her death she gave another the ultimate gift – life.

“She loved family, she loved being on the water, she loved being outside,” Mandi’s mother Kathy Stiehl said.

Mandi Jo Seefeldt left the world on February 28th, 2014. It’s a day her family won’t ever forget.

“She was a beautiful soul, she was my life, she was my baby,” Stiehl said.

The aftermath left Kathy to make a big decision.

“I was asked if I thought about donor, she was not a registered donor,” Stiehl said.

In the spirit of Mandi’s giving character, Kathy thought it was only right to donate her organs.

“We donated her heart, her tissues, and her liver,” Stiehl said.

That decision would turn out to have huge implications many years later, as Mandi’s heart would eventually beat again in the chest of a Minnesota man.

“I had a heart attack when I was 40 years old, and for 18 years was told I would die,” heart transplant recipient Jade MacRae said.

MacRae was in need of a heart transplant. His doctors said he would only have up to three years to live without a donor heart.

However, he would make it another 18 years waiting for a miracle. A miracle that finally came right when he needed it most.

“Probably a week before I would’ve died, so the timing was critical,” MacRae said.

While MacRae waited on that new heart, he began to document his journey in a book.

A decade later, his story of inspiration and hope against all odds has now been now published, and a tragedy is turned into a miracle.

“My grandchildren weren’t born when I got my heart, so I would’ve never known them and they would’ve never known me,” MacRae said.

Now Kathy and Jade are forever connected by Mandi, and its even brought both of their families together.

For the 10-year anniversary of the accident, Jade presented a copy of his book to Kathy.

“I feel like I’m with Mandi again, I carry a stethoscope every time I see him because he don’t leave till I hear that heartbeat.”

Even though Mandi may not be here physically, she forever lives on inside of Jade.

MacRae hopes his book can inspire anyone who may be going through a challenging time and hope his story can make an impact on someone.