Charlotte Judd

Heart Transplant - 02/2007

My story begins at age 3 months when I was diagnosed with congenital cardiomyopathy. For most of my childhood I recall that the disease was controlled by medication, activity restrictions and yearly checkups. I was able to have a ‘normal’ childhood with the exception of being allowed to participate in competitive sports and various other extracurricular activities.
This was generally attributed to a failure in medication or because I had outgrown the current prescribed dose.

During one hospitalization, it was discovered that I had four clots surrounding my heart requiring I be placed on the drug Coumadin which is often difficult to control, can be dangerous and requires constant monitoring.

I remember once during an annual checkup my cardiologist made the comment that I would most likely need a transplant sometime in my 30s.At the time, this statement didn’t have much impact because my 30s seemed a lifetime away.

In the fall of 1999, I moved away to college and my heart condition gradually worsened. I was given a handicap sticker allowing me to park close to classes on campus (which sometimes isn’t all that close to the building you need). During this time I was experiencing an increasing number of visits to the emergency room and several hospitalizations.

Beginning in the fall of 2002 several things happened. I was re-diagnosed with a rare disorder known as noncompaction of the left ventricular myocardium. In utero the heart develops from a sponge like material into a muscle. However only one side of my heart turned into a muscle and the other side remained a spongy. Due to complications from this disorder, I underwent a cardiac mapping and ablation. In addition, it was determined I needed a cardiac defibrillator/pacemaker. During placement of the cardiac defibrillator/pacemaker, I suffered a cardiac arrest, was placed on life support and acute dialysis. Once I recovered from this outcome, I was informed I could not leave the hospital until I received a heart transplant. I remember feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to do with that information.

I was placed on the transplant list February 6, 2003 and received a heart transplant 21 days later. On March 15th, 2003 I was able to leave the hospital for the first time in 3 months. Since my heart transplant I have had no medical complications.

I returned to college in the fall of 2003 and finished the Bachelor’s degree that I had started. I then continued my education receiving my Masters Degree in 2008. I currently work full time providing behavioral therapy to children and adolescents. I enjoy reading and running. Last month I ran a total of 50 miles (something I could never consider with my previous condition) with a goal of running competitively this year.


...I feel honored to have received an organ and been given a second chance at life. Several times a day I give thanks for my donor and the family, who made this difficult decision, without that decision the things I have accomplished in my life would not have been possible.

Contact Us

Tel. +1 832-355-3659 - Please leave a message 

 Address: 6720 Bertner Ave., MC 4-129 -  Houston, TX 77030

© 2023 by ITG. Proudly created with

Copyright © 2021 • Heart Exchange Support Group, Inc. • All rights reserved. This. web site does not provide any specific medical advice and does not endorse any medical, professional or educational service obtained through information provided on this site or any links to this site. The information provided is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your own phyisican or healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Send mail to with questions about this web site. - . Last modified: 01/2021.

  • Facebook-logo-500x350