Milena: My Kidney and Heart Transplantation Story

l am Milena and grew up with the topic of organ donation. In 1992 my father was very fortunate to receive a donor heart. We were infinitely grateful and had almost 26 years together as a family. At the age of 28 I survived - thanks to amateur resuscitation - a sudden cardiac death including a near-death experience. After a 2-day coma, I was implanted with a defibrillator and diagnosed with a GEN defect. This had caused me a dilated cardiomyopathy without my noticing. In 2011 my cardiac output was 12%. After only three months of waiting in the hospital, I received a heart transplant. My first words to dad: now I have one too.

However, kidney failure occurred during the operation. So I waited straight away for the next organ. For three years I went to dialysis with my dad. Due to the large number of medications, after 20 years he was also dependent on blood purification. In 2014, my mom was able to donate a kidney to me. Fortunately, an acute rejection was successfully treated. 

kidney transplant survival rate

Unfortunately, my dad could no longer be transplanted. He died in my arms in the family circle in 2017 just before Christmas. Educating people about organ donation was always very important to him. Dad was my role model and great support. Would like to pass this on to those affected especially as a thank you for the time we have been given - and draw attention to this vital topic. Almost three years ago I went public with Instagram and a small blog. I've had the privilege of meeting a lot of great people….. and I'm grateful for every decision which is already made.

My greatest thanks, which cannot be put into words, goes to our donors and their families who made the decision to donate their organs. Thanks to your gifts of charity, Dad, our family and I have had this very special life.

....Life thanks to organ donation!

- @millieonlife