Edna woman receives heart transplant

JR Ortega By JR Ortega

March 9, 2011 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated March 8, 2011 at 9:09 p.m.

SAN ANTONIO - A 36-year-old Edna woman had heart transplant surgery and is in stable condition in the surgical intensive care unit, a nurse said.

Kelley Drastata had the surgery at the Methodist Heart Hospital on Monday, said Dr. Yusuke Yahagi, who performed a double bypass on Drastata in January 2010.

Since then, Drastata had been on a left ventricular assisted device.

Wall posts of "We love you's" and "You are in our thoughts and prayers" poured onto Drastata's Facebook wall since the announcement of the heart transplant.

Finding a heart is a miracle because they are not easy to come by, Yahagi said.

"There is a mass of people who wait for the heart," Yahagi said. "The organ is very scarce. It is very tough to get a heart."

A benefit concert was held in late February to raise awareness about heart disease and Drastata's story.

Coincidentally, the heart became available after the concert.

Three types of rejection exist: acute, sub-acute and chronic.

Acute occurs on the operating table, which Drastata did well with.

Sub-acute happens between the date of operation and about two weeks after the surgery, and chronic can happen anytime during the person's lifetime, he said.

The journey is a lengthy one, but Yahagi has hope in Drastata's strength.

"There's a lot of support from Victoria," he said. "All the praying did it all."



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