Heart transplant recipient completes 8 km race 1 year after surgery


Jilliane Code spent 10 years with her survival in doubt. Thanks to a heart donor, her life has changed

Jillian Code (second from right) at the finish line of the Victoria Marathon. With her are (left to right) her husband Nick Zaparyniuk, her nurse Jennifer Kealy and her friend Tanya Threlfall. (Jillianne Code/submitted)

A year ago, Jillianne Code could barely walk half a block without gasping for breath.

Twelve months and one heart transplant later, the 38-year-old just finished the eight-kilometre road race at the Victoria Marathon on Thanksgiving weekend.

"I did pretty good, I have to say! I'm pretty proud," she said.

Code was diagnosed with heart failure 10 years ago. But in that time, she managed to finish a PhD program at Simon Fraser University, a post-doctoral program at Harvard, landed a job as an assistant professor, got married and completed three other five kilometre runs — with her survival very much in question all the while.

Running the Victoria Marathon on Sunday has given her plenty to be thankful for, she says. Continue reading