Mich. teen gets heart transplant for her 15th birthday

Mich. teen gets heart transplant for her 15th birthday

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(WJBK) - A St. Clair County cheerleader was feeling fine when she got a routine EKG to check her heart rhythm. The results of that simple scan are so shocking - her life immediately changed forever.

Always active, everyone figured Katlyn Scott was very healthy. Neither she nor her family knew she was born with a devastating heart defect. Now, looking back, the 15-year-old recognizes the subtle symptoms.

"My heart would start to race and then slow down really fast and I couldn't catch my breath and I always had to sit down for a minute," she remembers.

A routine EKG at a doctor's office discovered the cardiomyopathy, the disease that hurts the heart's ability to pump. It's so severe doctors quickly realized Katlyn needed a new heart.
 
"When we saw her, her heart was in very, very bad shape and we were actually surprised that she was walking around," says Dr. Sonali Magdo at U of M Mott Children's Hospital.

For the girl who loves sports life came to a sudden halt. While she waited for a heart, a pump delivered medication into Katlyn's arm to keep her alive.

Then, three months later, the call came.

"I told Katlyn that we got the call and she knew what that meant right away. She jumped right up faster than I've ever seen, smiling from ear to ear. It's like Christmas morning," says her dad, Bill Scott.

Even for doctors on the transplant team at Mott Children's Hospital, watching a donated heart come to life inside Katlyn is remarkable.

"I mean, the heart arrives in a cooler into the patient's room and then you see the whole thing and it starts beating and it's a miracle I think," says Magdo.
   
Katlyn got her new heart on her 15th birthday and for her family the celebration is filled with emotion. Months ago, they were shocked to learn her heart was failing and now they're overwhelmed to get the gift of a donor heart.
 
"I'm sorry for their loss but I hope they know what they've done, that their gift is beyond amazing. Katlyn's first words were, after the surgery, that she's going to live long happy life, and without them this wouldn't be possible. I hope they know that and I hope to one day be able to tell them that," says Bill.  

"It's kinda cool because that person gets to live on through me," says Katlyn, "and I get to live because of this person."

Katlyn is now healing at home and is doing well. She is also working with the Have a Heart Save a Life Charlie Sanders Foundation to raise awareness and raise money to help support heart screenings in student athletes.

RELATED LINKS

Have a Heart Save a Life Foundation
Katlyn's community Facebook page
Organ donation information




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