Gift of life; heart transplant saves Alaskan

KTUU | Mike Ross
Photo of Joel Eggert, heart donor for Jennie Lawrence / Photo courtesy Joel Eggert's family
ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Jennie Lawrence was greeted last Friday with a happy homecoming by family and friends, who just a few months ago, were not sure if she would live or die.

Lawrence's aunt, Ann Lawrence, said, "God has blessed us many times over, by giving her a second chance to come home and be part of our family."

Lawrence said her long ordeal began about 13 years ago.

"I went for a walk and couldn't take more than five, ten steps, and I was completely out of breath," she said.

Doctors at the Alaska Native Medical Center diagnosed her with a serious heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.

"The cardiologist said my heart was working at three percent," Lawrence said.

Lawrence took medication for several years to try to control it, but she reached a turning point last year, during a dip netting trip with her parents to Kenai.

"I could barely breath and was trying to walk through the sand down there." Lawrence said. "I was just so sick." Continue reading

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