"I looked the doctor in the eye, and I said, 'Am I going to die?'?" Jessica recalls.On page 2, at the link, you can see the beautiful prom-queen picture. That's with the LVAD and the prosthetic leg, not long before the donor heart became available.
"He looked at me and didn't say anything. That terrified me. I thought to myself, Is this it? It can't be. I have my whole life ahead of me. When you're 16, the last thing you think is that you're going to be facing you own mortality."...
Jessica needed an immediate heart transplant, but no matching hearts were available, so surgeons implanted a device into her abdomen to pump for the decimated left side of her heart. The left ventricular assist device (or LVAD) connected to a battery pack outside of her body. It would keep Jessica alive during the nine-month wait for a heart.
Still, she was determined to live the life of a normal teenager. With a prosthetic left leg and carrying the LVAD, she went back to school in November.
"One of my biggest fears is missing out on life and not making the most of it," she says. "I wanted to participate in as many high school activities as I possibly could, and my friends and my family and my community rallied around me."
She was a lead in the school musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying." She went on the choir trip to Disney World, was secretary of the school's glee club and made National Honor Society. Her classmates named her prom queen that spring.
December 16, 2010
"How do you convey to the mother who lost her daughter what it meant to my parents, who very nearly were in the same position, for giving me this gift?"
Said Jessica Melore who had a massive heart attack at the age of 16: