I was born with a congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries (TGA). I had the Mustard procedure done at the age of one and then I lived a normal life until the age of 16. I got sick with a cold in the fall of 2012 and was admitted to the hospital. At the hospital, I was told kids born with TGA who had the same procedure I did are now needing to have a heart transplant as they get older. That day came sooner that what I would have expected and on August 19, 2013 I was admitted to the hospital to wait for a life-saving heart transplant. I had to have a ventricular assist device (heart pump) placed on the right side of my heart because it was no longer strong enough to pump on its own. After two months in the hospital, I got to go home on November 4th, 2013 to wait for the call. After 6 months of waiting, the call came on February 13th, 2014 at 6:07pm! And my heart was placed on February 14th, 2014- which is known as Valentine’s Day and National Donor Day

When I got the call I was so excited, but also really sad and upset because I knew what had to have happened in order for me to get a new heart. The transplant surgery was a success, but after 24 hours I developed a bad infection and the only reason I survived is because of the amazing doctors, nurses, other hospital staff, and because of my donor!

It has been 7 years since my life-saving transplant and I still continue to spread awareness about the importance of organ donation! I have also met my donor family and keep in contact with them!

I am now 24 and I hope to have a career someday that involves organ donation awareness!