Mankato woman, 23, recovering after 2nd heart transplant


A young Mankato woman is responding well to a new heart Friday after undergoing her second transplant surgery.

KEYC reports Alyssa Sandeen, 23, received her first heart transplant at 8 years old after cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle, caused her heart to swell four times its normal size.

In 2011, Sandeen's first donor heart began to fail as she approached the typical 15-year life cycle of a transplant heart, according to the Mankato Free Press.

After waiting on a list for more than a year and a half, Sandeen got word Thursday that a heart was available.

"She was pretty excited. She yelled out to the other patients, ‘I got my heart!'" her father, Chris Sandeen, told FOX 9.

Sandeen went into surgery around 4:30 p.m. Thursday and several hours later, her family got to visit her.

"Alyssa is doing GREAT!!" Sandeen's Facebook page read. "She was taken out of sedation for a few minutes, and she was responding to commands like 'squeeze my hand, move your right leg, & left leg.'"

FOX 9 says Sandeen will recover at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester for about three months and will go in for daily checkups at Mayo Clinic.

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