Jamie’s StoryJun 15, 2020
Dearborn Transplant Recipient Celebrates One Year Anniversary of Receiving Heart
Born with a heart murmur in 1995, Jamie has battled many health challenges including autism and congenital heart disease that required an aortic valve replacement.
Despite her surgery, her heart did not function at normal capacity. Jamie’s mother Mina said her heart was beginning to fail, greatly affecting her quality of life.
“Jamie got to the point where she could not walk across the house before being out of breath,” says Mina.
Doctors at Children’s Hospital of Michigan determined that Jaime would need a heart transplant to survive. Jamie was on the heart transplant waiting list for approximately 500 days and was hospitalized for approximately two months as her condition deteriorated. During that time Mina says Jamie received occupational therapy and physical therapy in the hospital to keep her active and strong to prepare for her upcoming surgery.
“We received the news that a heart may be available but later found out they would not be able to retrieve the donor heart in time. About one week after that initial news, we then found out a new heart had become available for Jamie,” says Mina.
The heart transplant surgeons including Henry Walters, MD and John Dentel, MD provided Jamie with her heart transplant on June 15th, 2019 and her condition has dramatically improved.
“She now walks more than two miles per day and is not out of breath. We have also been training for her to participate in the Gift of Life Walk. Although this year it will be virtual, she continues to walk and train to stay active,” says Mina.
Although Jamie is an adult, due to her congenital heart condition, it was determined that she would benefit most from having the transplant at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
“Jamie loves the whole staff. The nurses have always gone above and beyond the call of duty as well as the fellows, therapists and doctors. Jamie is very organized and for her 25th birthday she made a list and wanted to invite all of the caregivers at Children’s Hospital of Michigan who have cared for her during her life,” says Mina. Due to COVID restrictions, Jamie’s celebrated her birthday on Zoom with her transplant team.
Jamie has continued her follow up care at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Swati Sehgal, MD, pediatric transplant cardiologist says Jamie’s outcome is inspiring.
“It is wonderful to see Jamie enjoying good quality of life, celebrating her birthday and planning trips to California! With her zest for life and her family’s commitment to making it a better world, I’m confident that Jamie will inspire many people around her including her transplant family,” she says
Mina says for others going through a similar situation, never lose hope and faith.
“The staff at Children’s Hospital of Michigan have been with Jamie every step of the way and have always kept me informed and answered all of my questions patiently. I would like to thank the staff including Dr. Sehgal, and Dr. Jennifer Blake who have been amazing and the donor family who gave Jamie her life-saving heart,” says Mina.