In an incredible twist of fate, Terry Cottle and Sonny Graham never met, however they shared something in common…their heart and their wife. What makes this further interesting is not only did they share the same wife and heart, but they also died the exact same way from self-inflicted gunshots twelve years ago.
Their wife’s name is Cheryl Graham, she was heartbroken twice. How things turned out was quite unusual. Terry Cottle died when he was 33 years old, he used a 22-caliber gun and placed it behind his right ear in the bathroom.
He worked for an extermination company, afterward his organs were donated away. Sonny Graham as fate would have it received Terry’s heart. As time passed by some nine years later, he married Terry’s widow Cheryl.
The police report read from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation—that Sonny Graham was found inside a utility building in his backyard with a single gunshot wound through his throat. There was no foul play reported as it was ruled as a suicide. Sonny was 69 years old, he used a 12-gauge Remington shotgun which he used for dove hunting.
Sonny led his life as the director of the Heritage Golf Tournament located at the Sea Pines Resort. He was on the verge of congestive heart failure in 1995, when he was notified that a heart was made available to him.
A phone call was made 60 miles away to Sonny (age 57 at the time) after waiting more than a year for news of a heart donation. Terry’s heart was made available to Sonny as Terry was put on life support. His gratitude to the Cottle family was noted as Sonny thanked them. It was January 1997 when Sonny met Cheryl who was age 28 at the time in Charleston, South Carolina.
People receiving organs have been reported to take on characteristics of their donor. They can have the same craving for a particular food as an example. Perhaps part of them does influence the others persons decisions in a spiritual way.
From previous marriages, Sonny and Cheryl had six children with six grandchildren located in both Georgia and South Carolina. Cheryl is 39 now, she worked at several different hospices located in Vidalia. Sonny’s friends mentioned that he will always be remembered for his kindness to others. Cheryl and her family has since pressed on with her life after suffering so much loss.