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Minn. woman doing well after 2nd heart transplant

  • June 28, 2013 - 5:40 PM

MANKATO, Minn. — A Mankato woman who was hospitalized with a failing transplanted heart was doing well after undergoing lifesaving surgery once again, the Mayo Clinic said Friday.

Alyssa Sandeen, 23, received her second heart Thursday night, 15 years after her first heart transplant at age 8, said her father, Christopher Sandeen.

His daughter learned earlier in the day that a donor heart had become available.

"Alyssa's the one that called me," her father told the (Mankato) Free Press (http://bit.ly/17oM5GJ). "It was kind of hard for her to talk. She was so emotional."

Her surgeon, Dr. Richard Daly, said her new heart was working well Friday and her vital signs were very good. He cautioned, though, that it was too early to make predictions on her recovery.

Christopher Sandeen said he reminded his daughter that even when people are told they've been offered a heart complications can arise at the last minute.

"I reminded her of that possibility. I didn't want her to get her hopes up too high," he said. "And she said, 'Yeah, I've been thinking about that.'"

The donated heart was compatible and surgeons at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester performed the transplant. Sandeen's condition was not immediately available Friday.

Christopher Sandeen says his daughter's health has progressively worsened over the last several months as her heart function decreased. She has been hospitalized since November, according to the newspaper.

As a young girl, Sandeen was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle. The anti-rejection medication she was taking for her first heart transplant weakened her kidneys. Sandeen's mother donated a kidney to her daughter in 2010

Many people across the world have been following Sandeen's story on her Facebook page, and on her CaringBridge page.

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Online:

Sandeen's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alyssa-Sandeen-Is-A-Blessing/158759730889893

Sandeen's CaringBridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alyssasandeen

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