Police are still investigating the death of Russian tourist Anton Kemaev, who was inexplicably killed in a drive-by shooting in Pittsburgh last month, but his wife was able to receive a small measure of satisfaction in knowing that part of her husband will live on.
Olga Kemaev arrived in the U.S. from Siberia just in time to say goodbye to her husband as he tragically took his last breath. After his death, she decided to donate his organs, which saved the lives of four people.
On Thursday, Kemaev met one of them: John Bond and his wife, Erin, of Minnesota. Bond, an Army National Guard veteran, was thrilled to be able to thank her in person, wrapping the Russian widow in a big bear hug.
Anton Kemaev was on a travel visa touring around the United States, and was staying with friends in Pittsburgh when he was shot in the head Dec. 19, according to ABC News. The 35-year-old fitness trainer was in the passenger seat of a car, and police say neither he nor the driver was the intended target.
The father of three was in critical condition for nine days before he died on Dec. 28.
Along with his wife, Bond, of Apple Valley, Minnesota, was taken via chartered flight to Pittsburgh, where he received the gift of life from a man with whom he had a lot in common: they were both in the military, they were both the same age, and they both had three children.
The Bonds met with Kemaev’s wife at the hotel where he is recuperating.
“What do you say to someone who just lost her husband, whose kids just lost their father?” he wondered.
Amid hugs and translators he thanked the widow and told her she saved his life, and she said it was what her husband would have wanted.
“He will live on,” Erin Bond told Kemaev. “Thank you for choosing to donate.”
“She’s very happy, and he’s very happy for helping,” said Vladimir Shlyakhtim, a friend of Anton’s who served as translator.
Shlyakhtim told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Anton’s last gift was to “make something good out of this nightmare.”