The Post-Standard | James T. Mulder
Kankoski is recovering at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester where she received a heart transplant in a five-hour surgery Dec. 15. “It’s the only Christmas gift I will ever want,” she said.
Kankoski, 64, suffered from cardiomyopathy, a disease that weakens the heart muscle and makes it harder for the heart to pump blood and deliver it to the rest of the body. Only about 2,000 heart transplants are done each year nationwide because of the lack of donors. About one-third of the people on the list die waiting.
Strong, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, does about 12 heart transplants annually. It is one of four New York hospitals, and the only one upstate, that offers the surgery. There are 52 people upstate waiting for hearts.