Heart transplant

Bride gets heart transplant on wedding day

(CNN) – An Indiana bride on a waiting list for a heart transplant got the call that she matched a donor – four days before she was due to get married.

After a last-minute wedding, she got a new heart.

This wasn’t the ceremony Kimberly Woods had planned on having. Her nuptials were due to be four days later, but at the last minute she rushed down the aisle after getting the call.

“We weren’t expecting this phone call for years,” she said.

Six months earlier, Woods discovered she needed a new heart and signed up for the waiting list.

She lived with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an often genetic heart condition that can make the heart muscle abnormally thick, making it harder to pump blood.

“I knew my body was definitely declining a lot more, just my heart was declining and the days were getting a lot tougher,” Woods said.

Her doctor at the Cleveland Clinic says that many times HCM goes undiagnosed — most people with the condition have few or no symptoms.

But after exercise, some experience shortness of breath, chest pains or may even pass out.

There may be a rapid heartbeat or heart murmur detected.

There could also be swelling in the legs. These are signs to see a doctor.

“(The doctor) who, in turn, will order an echocardiogram,” said Dr. J. Emanuel Finet, of the Cleveland Clinic. “And that will be the first step in diagnosis.”

Just over five months into his recovery, Woods’ heart is healthy.

“Just knowing that she has a good heart that will last, and that I can have her healthy and forever!” said Tony Woods, her husband.

In June, the couple plans to hold a wedding reception. As she wore her rehearsal dress during the first ceremony, she will be able to show off her wedding dress for the first time.

The couple are also planning a honeymoon that won’t be in the hospital.

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