Anissa: Staying Strong

Caught Off Guard

Anissa was a business professor in Tennessee. In 2007, she married and soon after became pregnant. During her pregnancy, her health took an unexpected turn. “I was out of breath, like an athlete,” Anissa said, “except I wasn’t an athlete.” She suspected something was wrong. Her suspicions were proved correct when she went in for routine blood work. The results came back with a grim diagnosis: hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM. She also was diagnosed with a potentially fatal liver disease. Anissa needed a double organ transplant. In her words, “It’s like tasting death every time you need a major organ.”

Because of complications from HCM and liver disease, Anissa had to quit her job. She was running out of resources. Worse, she was running out of time.

Travel for Transplant

The doctors in Tennessee were unable to help Anissa. “The doctors were only treating my condition, not curing it.” That meant Anissa’s best option was to seek a cure somewhere else. After conducting some research, she learned that she would have to go to the transplant specialists at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic is over 700 miles away from her home. She couldn’t afford to travel such a long distance.

One day, Anissa looked on the Internet for help. That’s when she found Mercy Medical Angels. Mercy Medical Angels paid for airline tickets so Anissa could travel to Mayo Clinic. In 2013, she received a life-saving double organ transplant: a new heart and a new liver. She is now recovering. Anissa says that one of the main reasons she stays strong is her family, especially her two sons.

Looking Up

When asked how Mercy Medical Angels impacted her life, Anissa’s answer shows signs of hope. “Things were looking down for a while. Now, things are finally starting to look up.”

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