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April Marks Transplant Awareness Month: A local woman shares her heart transplant story

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Posted at 6:11 AM, Apr 11, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — April is Transplant Awareness Month which is a time dedicated to honoring the generosity of organ and tissue donors.

Susan Crosby, a Tucson local who recently received a heart transplant, shared how this surgery saved her life.

Crosby was diagnosed with heart failure in 2012 at just 43-years-old and getting listed for a transplant wasn't immediate.

"It’s a journey unfortunately you have to wait till you’re really sick so you’re waiting around to get sicker before you can get on the list," she said.

After years of battling heart failure, Crosby was added to the transplant list in August 2023 and received her new heart just three months later.

"I just felt so grateful that I could have this opportunity, it was pretty emotional because so many things have to match up, the size, the blood type, all these things," Crosby said.

But the road to recovery hasn't been easy, Crosby faced setbacks, including rejection, which required a three-week hospitalization in January.

Despite the challenges, Crosby remains optimistic, emphasizing the importance of becoming an organ donor. “Look at what you’re doing for somebody else, you’re saving a life, you’re kind of living on through someone else," she said.

With April being Transplant Awareness Month, Crosby encourages individuals to consider becoming organ donors. Every eight minutes, someone new is added to the transplant waiting list and one donor can save up to eight lives and enhance 75 more.

Crosby continues to get stronger everyday, participating in activities she loves like hiking and swimming.

For those interested in becoming organ donors, you can visit the Health Resources and Services Administration website to learn more.