Family of fallen Conway PD officer gets to hear his heart beat a - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Family of fallen Conway PD officer gets to hear his heart beat again

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LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Emotions ran high on Sunday for the families of Conway Police Officer William McGary and Charles Connor.  The two families met, both joined by the heart of McGary who was killed by an intoxicated driver while directing traffic around an accident.

"I was watching the news that Friday night in my hospital bed," mentioned Charles Connor, referencing the first time he had heard the name William McGary.

Connor was dying of congestive heart failure when he heard the news of McGary's untimely death.  Connor didn't know that the hero killed that night would end up being his hero.

"You know I want to try to take care of this heart the best that I can," said Connor.

Connor received McGary's heart in a transplant procedure, described a lengthy, the day after McGary died.

More than a year later the McGary family finally got to meet the man whose life was saved by their son.

"That was the first thing we heard or saw," said Tanya McGary, Will's mother, talking about his heartbeat.  "Will had life, and a smile and all of that when he was born, so the next best thing is hearing his heart."

They were able to listen to Will's heart beat inside Connor with the use of a stethoscope.

"It was like an overwhelming feeling," described McGary.  "It was almost like that big hug feeling that you get, that will used to give me.  It was that kind of feeling."

It was just as overwhelming for Connor as he realized what had to happen in order for him to live.

"A life was given up to save mine," said Connor.

But now it's the reason both families stress the importance of organ donation.

"People need to know that donors save lives," said Connor.

"It's changed their lives," said McGary.  "They have a chance at life again to live half the life that Will got to live."

Will's family and about a dozen Conway police officers will travel to Washington in May to see his name immortalized in the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.