“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.

*KOBI-TV NBC5 does not guarantee money deposited to this account will be applied for the benefit of the person or persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering making a donation, you should consult your own advisors, and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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