23-year-old Mankato heart transplant recipient dreams of fishing, dancing


KAAL TV checks in on the story of Alyssa Sandeen, the 23-year-old Mankato woman who had a heart transplant June 27.

Sandeen is still recovering at the Gift of Life transplant house in Rochester. KAAL notes that her daily schedule is now dictated by medications and appointments with doctors. But she longs for the day she can go home, she tells the station.

"I'm looking forward to driving again. I like to go fishing, too. That's like my favorite thing, fishing and dancing," Sandeen told KAAL.

Sandeen also says that she kept her optimism alive during eight trying months at St. Marys Hospital waiting for a new heart. "I kept thinking, I'm gonna get this heart," said Sandeen.

Sandeen received her first heart transplant at age 8 after suffering through cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle. It caused her heart to swell four times its normal size.

The Mankato Free Press reported that Sandeen’s first donor heart began to fail in 2011, as she approached the typical 15-year life cycle of a transplant heart.

Sandeen's story of her heart transplanted has been chronicled on her website.

See the video below featuring Sandeen's father talking about her transplant.

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