‘Electronic stethoscope’ smartphone app can monitor your heartbeat

Gary Beathard, 70 (Beth’s husband), Beth Beathard, 65 (heart recipient), Margaret Hamilton, 61 (donor Catherine Isadore’s mother), Kevin McCoy, 43 (donor’s brother – stood behind), Danielle Isadore, 16 (donor’s daughter), Daniel Isadore, 18 (donor’s son), Dillion, 14 (donor’s son)

Being able to record her heartbeat on a smartphone allowed Beth Beathard to give an important gift.

She had a heart transplant 14 years ago, and the heart came from a young 23-year-old mother who died tragically following a stroke.

Mrs Beathard, 65, met the children of her donor, Catherine Isadore, for the first time in May when she invited them to watch her run a 5K race to raise awareness of organ donation.

Afterwards they asked for a recording of their mother’s heart beating in her chest, but she wasn’t due to have an ECG for six months.

The grandmother-of-two said: ‘I used the Echoes app to take a recording of the heart beating and sent it to Catherine’s family so they could hear that part of her lives on.

‘Their family gave me the gift of life and I message Catherine’s mother on the anniversary of my heart transplant every year, but this was something else even more special that I could do for them.’

Mrs Beathard was just 50 years old when, having previously had no symptoms beyond tiredness, she was rushed to hospital with a racing heart in March 2007.

Heart donor Catherine Isadore, who died aged 23 after suffering a stroke

Heart donor Catherine Isadore, who died aged 23 after suffering a stroke

Her heart was dangerously enlarged and she was fitted with a defibrillator, which shocked it back into a normal rhythm, but after 18 months, she had run out of treatments which worked and was placed on the transplant list.

At 6.30am on November 7, 2008, she received a call to say a heart was available.

It belonged to Catherine, who had died leaving behind three children under the age of five.

They are Daniel, now 18, Danielle, aged 16, and Dillion (CORR), who is 14.

Having met Catherine’s mother, Margaret, a year after her transplant, and kept in touch, Mrs Beathard and husband Gary invited her to the 5K race in May.

Catherine’s children, who went too, heard their mother’s heart for the first time through a stethoscope.

Mrs Beathard, who worked providing financial aid for students before retiring, was eager to provide a permanent recording of her heartbeat when asked.

Although she lives in Dallas, Texas, the Echoes app created at King’s College London is available internationally, so this was what she used.

The 65-year-old said: ‘It meant a great deal to Catherine’s family to now have that audible memory of her, and was very healing and emotional for us all.

‘Every day on the transplant list I was afraid I wouldn’t wake up, and I am grateful to have had these extra 14 years of life.’

Catherine Isadore’s donated organs helped four people in total.

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