Share Your Heart - Pancreas Story
Post Number: 11
|Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 12:23 pm: ||
In 2001, I was a healthy 40-year old woman living in Spokane, Washington. Not overweight, no high cholesterol, no high blood pressure, non-smoker, organic, mostly vegetarian diet, no family history of heart disease--my doctors saw no reason to be concerned about my heart. Yet after that first heart attack on 9-18-2001, I endured 32 heart catheterizations, 11 stents, two open-heart surgeries, and a thoracotomy that was part of an experimental program to grow new vessels around my heart. All this occurred in only three years.
In May of 2005, I was placed on the heart transplant list after surviving cardiac arrest two times. With 70 people here in the Northwest waiting for a heart ahead of me, my transplant surgeon estimated it would be nine months to a year before I was called. We all knew I did not have that much time. He broke the news to me in the bleakness of my hospital room.
The very next morning, much to everyone's surprise, he came in with a consent form for a heart transplant. He had a heart for me. "How?" I asked in amazement. A donor heart was taken off the transplant list because it needed too much repair to be suitable for a recipient. But my surgeon was willing to repair it, bring it back, and transplant in me. I asked him, "Why do you think it will work for me?"
His answer, "Because this is the one God has for you!" I trusted his judgment and signed the form. He was taken by helicopter to a local airport where a Leer jet met him for the trip to Seattle. The repairs were done and the transplant was successful. If you Google my name, you will find more than 65,000 websites about my journey.
As of May 12, 2011, I also received a rare pancreas transplant in Chicago. I am now the only person in the US and possibly the world to receive a heart transplant as a diabetic and then six years later, a pancreas transplant. There have only been 8 actual patients to have a heart transplant and then a pancreas within a year. Only 5 of us are alive according to UNOS data.
You can watch a short video on the amazing events here: http://youtu.be/DXDq28ywkUM
You can read more about my story at my website: http://www.aheartlikemine.com
Please post here if you have had a heart transplant and then later, a pancreas transplant.
Post Number: 16763
|Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2011 - 02:19 pm: ||
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Your website is beautiful!
I would like to list your book on our transplant books group on
You are very blessed as you already know. Your doctors are heaven sent.
I will watch your video now. I am sure I will be crying....with beautiful tears of happiness for you. God Bless all Organ Donors and their beautiful families.
edited to add:
I just realized that I saw your video on FB and fell in love with it.