• By Dana Sparks

23-Year-Old Patient Receives Second Heart Transplant

June 28, 2013

Alyssa Sandeen, 23, of Mankato, Minn., received a heart transplant on Thursday, June 27; she has been hospitalized at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., since November 2012.Alyssa's heart

“We are very happy for her, to get this second chance – this gift of life,” said Alyssa’s dad, Chris Sandeen, less than 24 hours after her transplant. This is Alyssa’s second heart transplant. She received her first heart transplant when she was 8 years old. At age 19, she received a kidney from her mother, Lisa.

Richard Daly, M.D., Alyssa’s heart transplant surgeon, said today that Alyssa’s new heart is working well and her vital signs are very good. He cautioned, though, that it is too early to make predictions on her recovery.

Dr. Daly and Alyssa’s parents expressed gratitude to the family of Alyssa’s donor. “Without organ donors, Alyssa wouldn’t be here,” Chris Sandeen said. “We are so grateful.”

Many people across the world have been following Alyssa’s story on her Facebook page, Alyssa Sandeen Is A Blessing and her family will update followers on the page, as well as Alyssa’s CaringBridge page.


Journalists: The next media update will be posted the week of Monday, July 1.  Sound bites with Chris Sandeen are in the downloads. B-roll and sound bites from an interview with Alyssa taped in Feb. 2013 are also available in the downloads

Alyssa Sandeen (san-deen)  of Mankato, Minn. has been hospitalized at Mayo Clinic since November waiting for a donor heart to become available.  Organ donation has already saved Alyssa’s life twice, the first being a heart transplant when she was just 8 years old.

Sound bite (Alyssa Sandeen/Transplant Patient)   ///SOT @ 17:58  “No one can live without a heart, I wouldn’t be here.  I had a kidney transplant. I have my mom’s kidney. If she didn’t donate her kidney, I wouldn’t be here.”  :09 

Alyssa has supporters all over the world following her story and waiting to hear that her wish for a new heart has come true.  Alyssa says she loves the support, but is more happy to know she’s helping to raise awareness about organ donation. 

Sound bite (Alyssa Sandeen/Transplant Patient)  ///SOT @ 29:32  “I get letters, I hear from people, people Facebook me, at least five people a day that they’re now an organ donor. (:10) or that I’ve inspired them in some way."  (:13) 

Alyssa says she’s always been very active and can’t wait to get back to enjoying life.

Sound bite (Alyssa Sandeen/Transplant Patient)  /// SOT @ 11:57 “Usually when you get a heart or any organ you feel pretty close to normal again, which is very exciting. So, I want to go back to, I want to start hunting again. I want to fish, I love to fish!   I want to start dancing again.” :15



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