Heart Transplant - 02/2002
I have always been a very active, work-a-holic type of a person, very health conscience and in very good physical condition. Slowly at first, I kept getting weaker and less able to breathe and to do my normal routine. I had terrible bouts of bronchitis and chronic anemia. Finally during pre-op testing for a minor surgery, they found an enlarged heart and an irregular EKG. I was diagnosed with end stage terminal Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy. The only hope would be a heart transplant.
We searched the web and found the Texas Heart Institute.
Through E-mails, mailings and the phone we were able to get so much information and help that we all felt confident that THI was the right choice for the heart transplant. Even my cardiologist said if it were she, she would move to Houston and have THI do it.
By now, I was felling like a fish in fishbowl watching the world go by and missing out on everything. My poor husband had to do so much. It was time. In just 4 days we sold our home of 36yrs where we raised our 6 children. We left my aging parents, a new grandson, our friends, and moved from the hills of upstate New York to the mid-summer heat of Houston.
The climate and everything was so new and different, the first night I laid in bed feeling lonely and strange like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Fortunately, we soon found the Heart Exchange Support Group that meets every Wednesday morning. What a help. My first appointment, after we moved to Houston, was September 11, the day the towers were hit. The testing was strenuous and there were some procedures to be done but I made the list the day before Thanksgiving, and I received my heart February 24th, 2001, only 3 months later. I was well enough to leave the hospital only 8 days after the transplant except I ended up with a rejection. This was taken care of nicely with medication. After this slight delay, I was off. My heart is doing great and I am very active once again doing all the things I love to do.
...My husband and I enjoy this gift of life together as we baby-sit, do gardening, swim, walk, travel, volunteer at St. Luke’s, and we feel very blessed.