Recipient's family attends funeral of organ donor in honor of her life in New Jersey

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- It was a funeral filled with the deepest sorrow and the greatest joy because Ivonne Martinez Rivera was an organ donor.

"My wife is the type of person who will help anybody, whether not she knows you," said Andy Rivera, the donor's husband. "She feels content helping other people."

41-year-old Ivonne was a wife, mother of three children, and a nurse to the elderly.

Last week, this vibrant woman suffered a brain aneurysm. Her giant laugh was suddenly silenced, but not her gift of life.

"My wife was more than hero," Rivera said.

"I consider her my hero," said Misael Guzman, the recipient's brother.

At her packed funeral in Newark Tuesday night, the Guzman family came to pay their deepest respects. They never met Ivonne, but she now lives in their family.

"Forever you will be my family," Guzman said.

35-year-old Eli Guzman from Rosell, New Jersey received Ivonne's kidney and liver last Friday.

Now recovering in the hospital, he now has a second chance at life.

"God has shown us a way of bringing two families together in love and kindness. We thank the Rivera family for the decisions they've made," Guzman said.

Ivonne's husband tells Eyewitness News that he would also like to meet the person who received her heart.

He wants their children to know their mother's heart continues to beat and her joyful spirit lives on.

"So I can at least put the baby on her heartbeat, the baby can hear her mother's heartbeat through somebody else," Rivera said.

"We're forever indebted to her family," Guzman said.
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