Celebrating 10 years with a new heart

July 15, 2016

Body

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Ten years ago, a family lost their daughter. Ten years ago, a 17-year-old lost her best friend. Ten years ago, friends, family and loved ones had to say goodbye to a girl who passed away too soon.

Ten years ago, I received the gift of life at Texas Children’s394602_10151022777646998_1469964502_n Hospital. It's always hard for me to celebrate my “heart birthday,” when I know a family is grieving. The girl who donated her heart would be 27 this year. I hope her family would find joy in all the things I've been able to accomplish by receiving the gift of their daughter’s heart.

In the past 10 years, I've accomplished so much. I graduated from high school and college, moved to a new city, landed my dream job, celebrated so many birthdays and anniversaries, and traveled to paradise.

During college, my passion for health care grew. I knew I wanted to do something in the health care field, but wasn’t sure what. After taking a few classes in communications, I decided to move forward with a strategic communications degree. I decided the best place to get experience would be at Texas Children’s. Through a family friend, I was connected with the PR team. I remember sending an email asking about a PR internship for the summer. I was hoping for the best, but knew there would be other students fighting for the position. I remember interviewing for the position and was offered the internship on the spot. I started crying, which might be the most embarrassing thing you can do during an interview, but I was so excited for the opportunity. Interning at Texas Children’s was like returning home. I learned so much in those three months and was forever grateful to the PR team for teaching me so much about health care, Texas Children’s and the PR world.

After graduating college, I knew I wanted to work at Texas Children’s. My game plan was to get a job in Houston and continuously check-in with the marketing department for any openings. It was a long shot, but I’m a huge believer in the saying, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” And that’s what I wanted to do. Nearly a year after graduating, Texas Children’s offered me a dream job. I’m now the editor for Texas Children’s blog, and honestly, this is my dream job. I love sharing patient stories, tips from doctors and now I’m happy to share my story.

I was only 14 years old when I received my heart transplant and while I’ve faced many challenges, I’ve always tried to have a positive outlook on life. Unfortunately, I’ve outgrown Texas Children’s and now see an adult doctor, but I’m lucky enough to work with the physicians and nurses who saved my life.

I'm very blessed that I received my transplant when I did. Every day, 22 people will pass away because they didn't receive an organ in time. Please sign-up to be an organ donor and make your wishes known to your family. If you’d like to learn more about organ donation, please visit DonateLife.net.

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