A year after heart transplant, teen celebrates life

Redding Record Searchlight | Nathan Solis

SHASTA LAKE, California - Like most teenagers, Lizzie Johnson is showing signs of her independence. Her mother mentions how mature her daughter has become and Lizzie agrees that she’s changed recently.

The change could be due to Lizzie’s new heart.

As a recent heart transplant recipient, 15-year-old Lizzie has done a lot of growing up in the past few years. Diagnosed with a rare heart disease at 13, Lizzie spent most of her 14th year in hospitals and working her way to a transplant. Her mother, Lisa Ozur, says that the heart must be from an older donor because Lizzie acts like an old soul now.

“Before the surgery I wanted family by my side. Especially my mom, but after my transplant I wanted to be left alone, because I was on steroids and they were making me roid out,” Lizzie said.

“Anyone would change after going through something like that,” Lizzie added. She is getting ready for a symbolic birthday party this Sunday. Continue reading