Fort Mill woman among few to enjoy motherhood after heart transplant

HERALD | Andre Dys

On a cul-de-sac in the Springfield subdivision in Fort Mill lives a man and a woman and their son. Andrea and Rob McConaughy, and their 14-year-old son, Andrew. And part of somebody else.

Inside the chest of wife and mother Andrea , where it has been for the past 20 years, is the heart that once belonged to someone she never met when he was alive. Yet he lives in her.

“His name was Michael, and he’s an angel to me,” McConaughy said.

Twenty years ago, she received Michael’s heart in a transplant after he was shot to death.

“I think about Michael every day,” she said. “He is the someone whose life had to end to save mine.”

Because McConaughy, 20 years ago, was going to die herself without a transplant.

From age 14, McConaughy endured a heart disease that made the muscle three times its normal size. But she lived through it for years, graduating college and reaching age 26, when there was no more dealing with the heart she was born with. She had to have a transplant. Continue reading
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