Leanne Nicholson is just like any other 18-year-old: She is planning for her future and enjoys taking care of her pony and dog.
But, Nicholson, of Choppington, in Northumberland, England, is recovering from her second heart transplant in just six years, reports London’s Daily Mail.
“To receive a second heart transplant is a million-to-one chance as there is such a shortage of donor organs,” Nicholson told the newspaper.
Nicholson was healthy until the age of 12 when a virus attacked the muscle tissue of her heart. She was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, an enlargement of the heart tissue.
Doctors said her heart was so damaged it was as if she had suffered three major heart attacks – the upper two chambers of her heart were not functioning at all and the lower two were barely beating.
She was immediately put on life support, but a donor was found quickly.
However, within 14 months, Nicholson’s body began to reject the heart and she felt ill again.
Doctors told her she would need another new heart.
It’s been three months since Nicholson received her second heart and she is now starting to exercise.
“It is amazing to think of what they have done for me,” Nicholson said of the families who donated the organs of their lost loved ones. “The heart is synonymous with kindness and they have given me the ultimate gift – of life.”