AUSTIN — An Austin bone marrow donor met his bone marrow recipient after five years.
Tom Koerner from Austin met Traci Pruitt at a conference in Los Angeles over the weekend.
“The Gift of Life said, 'Would you be up for possibly meeting your recipient this weekend,' and, yeah, if she's up for it I'm up for it,” said Koerner.
Five years ago, he found out he was a bone marrow match for Pruitt after doing a swab test in college.
"Having thought about somebody for five years and only knowing that they're a woman, not knowing a name or a face,” said Koerner.
But years after unanswered questions, he finally got answers at the conference.
“She and I kind of locked eyes and just hugged, and it's tough to figure out what to say to somebody at that point. I was just so honored to meet her,” said Koerner.
"I had butterflies in my stomach,” said Pruitt. “It was just an unreal moment. I'm so thankful for him."
Through the Gift of Life Marrow Registry and his fraternity Zeta Beta Tau, these perfect matches found each other. Koerner now hopes his story inspires others to get out and donate.
“At the very least, getting on the registry you're giving somebody hope,” said Koerner. “To then show up if you're called is just what you do."
He's planning to have a bone marrow drive at the bar Seven Grand in downtown Austin this Thursday.