A WOMAN who had a heart transplant aged 18 has revealed she kept the organ and wanted to bury it.
Jessica Elena had her liver and heart removed and received a transplant from a stroke patient.
She charted her journey through social media, after deciding to keep her heart in a plastic bag.
Jessica was diagnosed with heart failure and said she would be upset when people told her she “didn’t look sick”.
The social media star has received millions of likes and in one of her latest videos she explains why she decided to keep the organ.
Responding to a user who asked Jessica, now 21, how she can live without her heart, she said, “I’m not a walking zombie.
“I have a heart inside of me and it’s beating perfectly well and I had a heart and liver transplant three years ago.
“My donor died of a stroke and her heart and liver were put inside of me and my diseased heart and liver obviously removed.”
She explained that her liver was donated to science at a university, just like her heart.
However, she said the researchers who took the heart only took a small part of it, but she assumed she would not get her organs back.
But soon, Jessica received a call from her transplant team, informing her that they had sent her heart.
They asked her if she wanted the heart back or if they just wanted to put it “in the trash”.
She said: “And I was like you know what, I want it.
“My plan was to bury him. When I’m ready to let go, I’m going to bury him in a sacred place or bury him with me when I die.”
Jessica explained that she was born with half a heart – that’s why she needed a transplant.
Holding her heart in a bag, she said that even though it was only half the organ, it was so damaged.
Due to the way it is stored, it is three to four times larger than it should be.
The NHS says heart transplants may be considered if you have significant heart failure.
The procedure should be performed as soon as possible after a donor heart is available.
The advice reads: “The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic, while you sleep.
“While performing it, a heart-lung bypass machine will be used to keep your blood flowing with oxygen-rich blood.
“An incision is made in the middle of the chest. Your own heart is then removed and the donor heart is connected to the main arteries and veins. The new heart should then start beating normally.”
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