Susan Hasset, Heart Recipient

I won. Three months into my recovery from a heart transplant, and I can say with confidence that I won. My battle with Hypertrophic Cardiomiopathy, a life-threatening genetic heart disease, took a toll not only on my own health, but has also plagued members of my family. My mother passed away from the same disease, and I was diagnosed three months before my brother passed away while waiting for a heart transplant. Before I became ill, I worked as a nurse and hospital administrator. I dealt directly with grieving families who needed to make decisions regarding eye, organ and tissue donation for their loved one who had recently passed on.

This is a multi-layered and complex battle, I fought against this heart disease the only way I knew how…with my brother’s optimism, and through opportunities to educate the public about the pressing need for organ, eye and tissue donation.

My personal battle to beat Hypertrophic Cardiomiopathy has finally ended, thanks to one individual who registered as an organ donor. As a wife and dedicated mother, my recovery begets hope. Hope for a healthy and long life with my family, and hope that through my story, others will realize the importance of registering as organ donors. Now, I will be able to watch my son succeed in basketball, graduate from high school, and continue to develop into a young man. Soon, my family and I will be able to take trips to the East Coast again, a place I hold dear and have missed deeply.

While an entirely new battle of post-transplant recovery has begun, my wisdom and strength continue to grow. I often place my hand on my chest, feeling the beat of my new heart. This new heart of mine, it beats so powerfully. It is so strong.