“I was not supporting my life anymore.
I guess I can say I was in survival mode.”
It started with some weird symptoms. Trouble with her peripheral vision. Trouble opening small packages. A shooting pain down her left side. Andrea knew there was something going on. “When I was wheeled into the hospital, I had a heart rate of 130 at rest. And that was the day that they diagnosed me with dilated cardiomyopathy.”
For herself, her fiancé and her family, Andrea soon realized that only a heart transplant would bring her “real life back”. Thankfully, and fortunately, she received the call.
After the transplant, she noticed the changes right away. “The first thing that I noticed was that I had a heartbeat and it was so loud… I knew I had a strong heart in there.”
Though it was a joyous time for her and her family, Andrea thinks often of her donor's family and their grief. “Every moment a thought goes out to them. I want to make them proud by living and taking care of what's been given to me.”
Visit BeADonor.ca to learn more about organ and tissue donation in Ontario.