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Heart Transplant Recipient Prepares for Graduation

As 18-year-old Miranda Wayne prepares for the next chapter in her life, she pauses to reflect on her journey as a young heart transplant recipient and soon-to-be high school graduate.

Tell us about what led to the need for a heart transplant.

I was born with congenital heart disease and had my first procedure at just 2 days old. I then had my first open heart surgery when I was 11 years old. Since I had struggled with heart disease my entire life, I didn’t know anything different. But, as I went into my teen years, I noticed my health declining even more. It was becoming harder and harder to do routine things, like climbing stairs. I was diagnosed with Familial Dilated Cardiomyopathy in 2017 and I needed to be placed on an LVAD while waiting for a new heart.

What was life like for you while waiting for a transplant?

I was always in and out of the hospital, so it was hard to be a reliable friend, making it impossible to find friends in the first place too. With the LVAD it was difficult to stay positive. I hated surviving instead of living, and it was draining on my mental health. Also, I didn’t know anyone else my age who was on an LVAD, so it was hard to find someone to relate to and who could understand what I was going through. Waiting for transplant was hard on my family, too. We were all hanging in the balance waiting for the call and just not knowing what would happen.

Miranda received her life-saving heart transplant on June 6, 2018 at the age of 15 years old.

Miranda in sunflower field smiling at camera

What are your thoughts on receiving a transplant?

Because of transplant, I am graduating high school and going to college in the fall. I have a job and great friends that I can hang out with instead of being in a hospital bed. Because of transplant, I am living a normal teenage life and looking forward to the future. 

What can you tell us about your donor?

I have written to my donor’s family a couple of times. I have yet to hear back from them and it is a tender topic for me. I am so utterly grateful to the family of my donor. I could never repay them, and every day I feel a weight pressing on my soul for this person that have never met and will never get to meet. They saved my life, and I will always keep that with me wherever I go in life.

What are your post-high school plans?

I am going to Anoka Ramsey community college for my Associate of Arts degree and then I plan to go to a four-year college for a full degree. I have no idea what I want to do with my life, as so much of my teen years was clouded by illness, but I am looking forward to all the possibilities!  

What would you tell people about donation and registering to be a donor? 

I tell all my friends and family to check the box on their license application. Also, as a LifeSource Ambassador, I am able to help educate others about what it means to be a donor and share that my life was saved because of donation.

What else would you like to share?

I just want to thank everyone who has been a part of my journey, I wouldn’t have made it this far in life without each and every one of you.

Miranda will join the class of 2021 as she graduates from Blaine High School in Blaine, MN on June 6, 2021.