Man who received slain SAPD officer's heart shows gratitude at benefit honoring officer

Bobby Deckard killed during high-speed chase in 2013

SAN ANTONIO – When Gene Dudley received his second heart transplant 4 1/2 years ago, he had no idea it came from fallen San Antonio police officer, Bobby Deckard.

Dudley recently became aware of Deckard's career as a police officer, cut short when he was fatally shot during a high-speed chase in December 2013.

"It's amazing to become part of that story," Dudley said.

Dudley made his first public appearance as the recipient of Deckard's heart during half time at the fifth annual "Bobby Bowl," which celebrates Deckard's life and giving spirit.

Proceeds from the event go to different charities every year. This year, proceeds will go to the 100 Club, which is an organization that supports the families of fallen officers.

Dudley, who suffered from mitral valve prolapse, said he knows if it weren't for Deckard, he wouldn't be alive today.

"I went into the hospital and it progressively got worse," Dudley said. "I was in ICU, and the only remedy really was a heart transplant."

Just before Christmas in 2013, Dudley said doctors told him he was getting a "Ferarri heart" because of Deckard's athleticism. It's a gift Dudley doesn't take for granted.

"I'm able to do everything I did before and more," Dudley said. "I'm so blessed."

Deckard's family finds solace in the fact that while they may not be able to speak with their fallen hero, he'll continue to live on through the four others who received Deckard's organs.

You can learn more about organ donation on the Donate Texas website.

About the Authors: