CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) Brandy Sweeney never thought she’d need an organ transplant. But then she received a diagnosis that would change her life.
“I was pregnant with my third child when I was diagnosed with Peripartum Cardiomyopathy, which is essentially heart failure due to pregnancy,” Sweeney explained.
That diagnosis meant doctors would deliver Sweeney’s baby five weeks early. Her baby was healthy but Sweeney had to go to Pittsburgh, PA for more treatment. She was then placed on the transplant list.
“I was blessed enough to only be on the list for 38 days. Because someone said ‘yes’ to organ donation I am able to be there for my kids no matter what they are doing,” she said.
Now Sweeney speaks up whenever she can about the importance of being an organ donor.
“I never in a million years would have thought that I was going to need a heart transplant,” she said. “But here I am today alive and well because someone checked ‘yes’ on that box.”
April is National Donate Life month. Various groups across West Virginia are doing their part to raise awareness.
“It is our opportunity to encourage indivduals to register as organ tissue and cornea donors,” said Christy Conley, West Virginia Outreach Coordinator for the Center for Organ Recovery and Education.
And as she watches her kids grow up and remains an active part of their lives Sweeney has words of thanks for her donor.
“I am so very grateful that he said ‘yes’ to organ donation. Without him I wouldn’t be here to serve my community, to be a mother to my three wonderful children a wife to my rock of a husband,” she said. “He (her donor) is my true hero.”