“To actually be able to hear my heartbeat,” Medford woman recovers from heart transplant surgery

MEDFORD, Ore. – A Medford woman is alive after an anonymous donor gave her a new heart. Now she’s recovering at home, thankful for the donor.

For seven years, 31-year-old Vanessa Trotter has enjoyed everything Medford has to offer, but then the pandemic hit.

“I started to feel sick. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I thought it was a cold,” said Trotter.

Months went by and it progressively got worse.¬†Finally, her partner’s family encouraged her to go to the emergency room.

“The doctor walked in and looked at my feet because my feet were all swollen. And she just told me you have heart failure,” said Trotter.

Immediately she was transported to the ICU, later airlifted to OHSU in Portland.

“It was just a big shock to me because I never had any type of serious health condition in my life. It was just unbelievable to me. This is really happening,” said Trotter.

Now carrying the label of being high-risk, it changed her perspective living during a pandemic.

Trotter was also put on a transplant list to get a new heart. Only 10% of organ transplant recipients are between the ages of 18 and 34 with an average waiting period of over 6-month.

“The waiting process is very unnerving just because you’re waiting for this thing that could save your life or you don’t get it,” said Trotter.

Eight months later, Trotter got a call saying the wait is over. It’s time to get a new heart.

“I don’t remember a whole lot because it was just like a blur,” said Trotter.

Her recovery has been a journey within itself. There are good days.

“Just to be able to actually be able to hear my heartbeat. It was just so loud. I could hear it in my ears. If people weren’t talking or if I was just alone it was so hard to concentrate on anything else but my heart beating,” said Trotter.

But with the good, comes the bad.

“It’s been really hard. You try to stay uplifted the best you can. But some days it just gets really hard,” said Trotter.

While every day isn’t a walk in the park, she’s happy that she can make that walk while listening to her heartbeat.

To learn more about Trotter’s story and/ or donate click HERE.

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