Personal Stories

Jessi-Ann Bettcher

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Name:
Jessi-Ann Bettcher
Location:
Brewster, NY
Age at Time of Transplant:
17
Transplant:
Heart
Date of Transplant:
May 22, 2007
I don’t take life for granted. Every little thing I do is for my donor.

I’ll never forget what happened to me in the spring of 2007. On what was just an ordinary Tuesday for most people, my young life was saved when I received a new heart.

I'd been a perfectly healthy teenager, a high school junior playing soccer, and so on. But in the summer of 2006, I felt ill. By October, I was diagnosed with having Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy, a condition with no known cause. My heart’s ability to pump blood was decreased because my left ventricle was enlarged and weakened.

At age 17, by the time I was hospitalized in New York City and placed on the heart transplant waiting list, I was critically sick. After three days, I was told there was a heart donor. My donor was in his twenties.

As a result of the transplant, I don't take life for granted. I turn 22 in October 2011. I'm working at a gym; playing and coaching soccer, and attending college. Every little thing I do is for my donor. When I think of him I think of what he did. It was his last unselfish act of his life. I can only hope I make him proud. -- Jessi-Ann 

Keep Life Going! Sign Up to Become an Organ Donor.

Jessi-Ann is going to college thanks to an organ donor, but thousands more like her need a transplant. Sign up at the DMV to become a donor when you renew your license or ID card.

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