By Kay Quinn, Healthbeat Reporter
KSDK -- On Sunday, 23 year-old Megan Moss of Ferguson received her new heart. Megan's mother describes the moment they were told a donor organ had become available and how their daughter reacted.
"She'd had a really rough day," said Kathie Moss. "In fact, it was so rough she was on a special breathing mask."
A mask she wasn't wearing when NewsChannel 5 first spoke with Megan in her cardiothoracic ICU room at Barnes-Jewish Hospital on Wednesday, April 14. But by the weekend, Megan was developing pneumonia, writing notes because she could no longer talk and the worry was even a machine would be unable to keep her alive much longer. That's when a doctor came in to tell her a donor heart was available.
"So I turn around and I'm jumping for the pad of paper and the pen, and she's like this," said Kathie, shaking her head no. "And she took the little mask and she pulls it off and she said 'I want to sign, I want to sign.'"
That signature set in motion Megan's transplant Sunday morning. Nothing is known about the donor, except that the person lived in Texas.
"We have been praying for them and this person's parents," said Kathie, who believes the person was young, although that fact also remains unknown, "and the family, that somehow their hearts would be prepared and that God would sustain them."
"It was a beautiful heart," said Dr. I-Wen Wang, (pronounced Wong,) the Barnes-Jewish Hospital cardiac transplant surgeon who performed the operation.
"From a cardiac standpoint she's done very well," Wang said of his patient's progress since Sunday. "Emotionally, it's always a very complex feeling. It's a mix of grief for one loss and at the same time enormous excitement and happiness for the life of another person."
Something the Moss family is keenly aware of.
"I'm very grateful that, at the point of their deepest and darkest night, they saw fit to share with us," Kathie said about of Megan's donor organ.
Megan will likely remain on the cardiothoracic ICU floor at Barnes-Jewish for at least a week. Then she'll undergo a period of time where doctors will adjust her medications, and she'll undergo physical therapy. With prayers and good wishes pouring in from all over the area and all over the world to help her through.
"I stand in awe," said Kathie. "I've been overwhelmed by how awesome God is, how awesome the response to the story has been, because I think we all put ourselves in that place and know it could be us."
Dr. Wang said he knows Megan's story has moved many others to consider or sign up to be organ
Mid-America Transplant Services, which co-ordinates organ donation for a three state region including Missouri, tells NewsChannel 5 that calls and inquiries about organ donation were up on Monday. As for the Moss family, they hope to meet Megan's donor family someday.