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Carol’s Transplant Story – Donate Life Month

Growing up with congenital heart defects, I had multiple surgeries and procedures to help give me the best quality of life possible. Despite this, by the time I was in my early 40’s, I was having worsening swelling, shortness of breath, and fatigue, which weren’t improving, even with increasing my medications. My ACHD doctor felt it was time for me to be evaluated by the heart transplant team. After lots of testing and discussion, I was placed on the list for a heart transplant in December of 2018. By April of 2019, it was recommended I come into the hospital and have a balloon pump placed, which would help get me stronger while I waited for the perfect heart. I spent 10 months in the CCU, but because I have high antibodies in my blood, there were no offers for a heart that matched. The transplant team felt that implanting a Ventricular Assist Device, or VAD, would be the best option, this would also allow me to wait at home. I received my VAD on February 27th, 2020. After recovering from the surgery, I was finally able to return home in mid March, where I continue to wait for my perfect heart!   

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