Lucile Packard doctors perform 3 transplants in 3 days

May 25, 2012 7:58:50 PM PDT
Doctors have performed three heart transplants in just three days at Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, a place that normally performs about 15 transplants a year. ABC7 News spoke to the young people who've been given a new chance at life, at almost exactly the same time.

The sound of his own heartbeat is something 17-year-old William Wylie-Modro will never take for granted again. Hospitalized since April with a failing heart, he got the sudden and unexpected news he was getting a transplant.

"I was shocked. Completely and utterly..." said Wylie-Modro.

After 12 hours in surgery, he now has a new heart that beats on its own.

"It sounds a bit different... works a bit different," said Wylie-Modro. But what Wylie-Modro didn't realize when he came for surgery is that he would become one of three young people in just three days to receive a new heart at this very same hospital. And all three transplants were monumental successes.

"I thought I was in a dream," said Amanda Sechrest.

Sechrest was asleep in her Saint Mary's dorm room when a nurse called at 4 in the morning. She received a new heart and a new liver.

Bloom: You look uncontrollably happy. Are you?

Sechrest: Yeah. It's been a rollercoaster, but finally I feel like the roller coaster is coming to an end.

But Sechrest shed a tear when we asked about the person who donated those organs.

"I feel horrible for the family who lost that person that was close to them. And god bless the doctors," said Sechrest.

Doctors who, by sheer chance, also found a heart for young athlete and Giants fan James Spencer, whose first request is to meet the donor's family.

"I feel so grateful. And I really hope down the road in the next several months they would like to be able to talk to me..." said Spencer.

Spencer wants to go on to be a baseball coach. Sechrest's looking forward to getting back on her snowboard and Wylie-Modro wants to be a rocket scientist. They're all making plans for a future, born out of someone else's generosity.

"Check that box, speak to your family, and think of organ donation, it saves lives," said a Lucile Packard doctor.


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