The romantic drama ‘2 Hearts’ tells the astounding tale of how the death of young Christopher Gregory, a college freshman, helped save the lives of five others. The film explores, in particular, the intersection of Jorge Bacardi of the Bacardi conglomerate family and Gregory’s lives through the modern-day miracle of organ transplant. The people closest to the incredible sequence of events and to the young man whose death initiated them were Eric and Grace Gregory. Let’s get to know them and see where they are today.
Who are Eric and Grace Gregory?
Eric and Grace Gregory are the parents of Christopher Gregory, who unexpectedly died of a ruptured brain aneurysm in March 2008. The 19-year old was a freshman at Loyola University, New Orleans, at the time. Shattered by his death, little did Eric and Grace realize the far-reaching effects their son’s demise would have. During that fateful time, Eric and Grace were living in Baltimore. Their three sons comprised John, Colin, and lastly, Christopher, who was the youngest.
Eric was, at the time, working with UPS as a risk manager. Before his death, Christopher had mentioned that he would like to have his organs donated. As his grieving family fulfilled his wishes and tried to come to terms with the loss, they were witness to the incredible medical and logistical process that resulted in Christopher’s organs being transplanted into others who were fighting for their lives.
A few months later, they received a letter of gratitude from who they later learned was Jorge Bacardi, of the Bacardi spirits empire. Over time, Eric was able to meet all the donors that received his son’s organs, and he and Grace also became friends with Jorge and his wife, Leslie. The Bacardis helped establish a care house providing accommodation for patients undergoing long-term treatments and their caregivers.
The care house, which is located in the Mayo Clinic hospital campus in Jacksonville, where Jorge underwent his lifesaving lung transplant using Christopher’s lungs, was named in honor of Eric and Grace’s late son. They were also present and gave speeches at the house’s opening ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 17, 2011.
The experiences that Eric had during the last few days of his son’s life and the days immediately after inspired him to pen and share them. In his self-published 2017 book ‘All My Tomorrows: A Story of Tragedy, Transplant and Hope,’ he details the heartfelt empathy of those around him and the incredible process and repercussions of organ transplantation. The same year, while advocating for organ donation and exploring its intersection with his Jesuit beliefs, he enrolled in Santa Clara University’s Jesuit School of Theology for a Master’s degree in theology.
Where are Eric and Grace Gregory Now?
— Grace Gregory (@enfermeragg) March 23, 2017
Eric and Grace live in Cave Creek, Arizona, where Eric, having left his job of over 30 years with UPS in 2018, is now a writer, speaker, and volunteer for the Donor Network of Arizona. Grace, who is a registered nurse, is now working in Pheonix, from what we can tell. The two enjoy spending time with their granddaughters and family. Grace has mentioned that she is thankful to have Christopher’s memory kept alive through her husband’s book, the organ donation community, and, most recently, by the movie ‘2 Hearts.’ However, the memory, understandably, is bittersweet.
Read More: Is Jorge Bacardi Dead or Alive?