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Heart Recipient and Donor Sister

In March 1987 I delivered twin, healthy girls, but my heart gave out shortly after that. We immediately knew something was wrong and I stayed at the hospital while my babies went home. On April 19, 1987 I was put on the ventricular assist device, also known as the LVAD. Within 24 hours, they found a donor heart from Florida.

I stayed in the hospital for 10 days after my transplant and I’ve been home living my life with my donor heart since then. I’m so thankful for my donor family. I have been able to watch my children grow into adults and I now have five grandchildren. I have felt the side effects of the rejection medication but I just keep going on and I’m proud to say that I feel like a 56 year old should I’m very thankful to be so healthy.

Over the past 36 years, I have worked with Kentucky organ donor affiliates, and I’ve also worked with Jewish Hospital in Louisville Kentucky to try to spread the word of organ donation.

In September 2010 my brother was in a car accident and we donated his organs. We can truly say that we have been on both sides of organ donation and each side makes you feel thankful and grateful.