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Meet Abby, heart transplant recipient

My name is Abby. I'm 16 years old and a heart transplant recipient.
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I was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. When I was diagnosed, my parents were told that I'd required three reconstructive heart surgeries to allow proper blood flow to my body. 

For about four months following my third surgery, all was well but at the end of January 2006, I started to get sick again. I had stopped eating. Just getting onto the couch would make me short of breath. Testing showed that I was in heart failure and needed a heart transplant. 

After waiting three months and one false alarm, our pager went off: They found a heart for me! One evening in May I went into surgery. Twelve hours later, my mom and dad were able to see me in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with my new heart. They told me they couldn't believe that my blue face, purple lips and fingers were now pink. 

I feel like a normal teen most of the time. I just need to take medication twice a day and go to transplant clinic. I can do almost everything without getting tired now. I enjoy skiing, hip-hop dance, surfing, parkour and participating in the transplant games. I’m also learning how to drive!

I am here today because a family made a choice when their world was falling apart. My family and I are so grateful to the donor family. It is so important to register for organ donation and make your wishes known to your family.

Abby was also the winner of the Provincial Youth Award in 2016 for raising awareness for organ donation.

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