Heart transplant

Texas mom beats odds after receiving life-saving heart transplant in time for Christmas


HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – It’s a special Christmas for a single mom, who has beaten all odds even after some doctors gave up hope.

Victoria Guajardo had spent much of the last two years separated from her 9-year-old son Alfredo De la Cruz.

“I was sad when she transferred to Houston,” Alfredo told ABC13. “I couldn’t be with her.”

He couldn’t be with her because her heart was failing. At just 27 years old, Guajardo suffered a heart attack and his heart was not working. A hospital in her town of Harlingen, Texas told her they could save her, but things didn’t go as well as they thought.

“(The doctors) did an open heart operation where my heart stopped twice,” Guajardo recalls. “That’s when they decided they couldn’t do anything else for me, so they transferred me to Houston.”

From there, Guajardo went to Memorial Hermann at Texas Medical Center and they gave him hope. Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr Ismael Salas and a team of doctors installed a pump. Then they put Guajardo on the list for a transplant.

“She’s a very good person and a fighter,” said Salas. “I’m very proud of our whole team. This is a case where a lot of people will give up or not move forward.”

After waiting almost two years, Guajardo got a new heart in October. She doesn’t know what heart is beating in her chest, but she is very grateful to the donor.

“I am very grateful for (the donor),” Guajardo said. “For them, for their family. It’s bittersweet. It’s a blessing to have a new heart this Christmas.”

Since his operation, Guajardo’s prognosis has been good. She is doing well and, above all, she is spending the holidays with her family. Especially with her son who is grateful to be back with his mom.

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