Hearts for Mother’s Day

Without the gift of a heart 26 years ago on Mother’s Day, and a subsequent heart transplant 11 years ago, JoAnne Davis would not be standing here smiling with sons Bradley, left, Benjamin and Ancle, her husband Kirk, and sons Spencer, Randy and Ryan Davis. Photo courtesy of the Davis family
RIGBY — Mother’s Day means much more to JoAnne Davis than cards and presents.

The Rigby mother of six has profound personal memories of two Mother’s Days. On May 12, 1991 — Mother’s Day — she received her initial life-saving heart transplant. Fifteen years later, just before Mother’s Day in 2006, she got a second precious gift of a heart.

What those gifts mean to her are more than most people will ever have to imagine.

She had a 6-month-old baby when she underwent the first surgery, with five other young sons at home. Without the donated hearts, her list of what she would have missed is long: “All of them became Eagle Scouts, all have college degrees and some have master’s degrees. They all married and I have 22 grandchildren. Five of them served church missions.”

That would have been a lot of mothering to miss.

Davis’ story starts with a cold.

She caught it while pregnant with her sixth son, and the subsequent infection, rather than settling in her sinuses or lungs, settled in her heart. Childbirth added stress to her heart, and doctors diagnosed the illness as idiopathic cardiomyopathy.

“When I first became ill, I knew something was very wrong,” she said. “You think you will get some pills and that will fix it.” Continue reading

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