I’ll never forget what happened to me in the spring of 2007. On what was just an ordinary Tuesday for most people, my young life was saved when I received a new heart.
I'd been a perfectly healthy teenager, a high school junior playing soccer, and so on. But in the summer of 2006, I felt ill. By October, I was diagnosed with having Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a condition with no known cause. My heart’s ability to pump blood was decreased because my left ventricle was enlarged and weakened.
At age 17, by the time I was hospitalized in New York City and placed on the heart transplant waiting list, I was critically sick. After three days, I was told there was a heart donor. My donor was in his twenties.
As a result of the transplant, I don't take life for granted. I turn 22 in October 2011. I'm working at a gym; playing and coaching soccer, and attending college. Every little thing I do is for my donor. When I think of him I think of what he did. It was his last unselfish act of his life. I can only hope I make him proud. -- Jessi-Ann
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Jessi-Ann is going to college thanks to an organ donor, but thousands more like her need a transplant. Sign up at the DMV to become a donor when you renew your license or ID card.