Austin teen heads back to school after New Year’s Day heart transplant

AUSTIN 360 |  Nicole Villalpando
Rome Henderson, 13, returned to school on Monday after having a heart transplant on New Year’s Day at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Robyn Henderson photos
On Monday, 13-year-old Rome Henderson walked into her middle school for the first time since December. It was a milestone that seemed impossible at the end of 2016.

Rome was admitted into Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas on Dec. 11. She was having chest pains and difficulty breathing. She was nauseated and didn’t want to eat.

“I had never had anything like this before,” she says.

Doctors realized that the left ventricle of her heart was giving out. Fluid was now in her lungs. She would need a heart transplant, something her parents had known was a possibility her whole life.

By Christmas Eve, Rome was transported to Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, one of only two hospitals in Texas that do pediatric heart transplants. Continue reading
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