Home Health HIV-positive heart donor’s family, recipient meet

HIV-positive heart donor’s family, recipient meet

by News Desk
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NEW YORK (AP) — Brittany Newton’s family mourned last spring when a brain aneurysm cut her life short at age 30. But this week, they feel close to her again and hear her heart beating in her chest at the grateful woman in New York whose organ transplant saved her life. rice field.

On Tuesday, Miriam Nieves, 62, embraced Newton’s mother and sisters, who they first met at Montefiore Medical Center, where he had a heart transplant last April.

“The only words given to me this Thanksgiving are that I am so grateful for science, family and God,” Nieves said. “But I can’t adequately describe them as my angels without the donors, because they gave me this second chance of his.”

Newton’s mother, Bridget Newton, had a big photo of her daughter, a certified nursing assistant who lived in Louisiana.

“My child is still walking around,” she said. “And for that I am eternally grateful.”

A former publicist who now lives in a suburb of New York City, Nieves overcame heroin addiction 30 years ago but remained HIV positive.

A married mother of three and a grandmother of six began experiencing heart failure after kidney problems.

To find matches at a time when donor shortages were acute, hospital doctors expanded their search to include HIV-positive donors. An organ donor, Newton, her family only learned of her HIV infection after her death.

Doctors transplanted her heart and kidney to Nieves.

Newton’s sisters, Brian and Brianka Newton, used stethoscopes to hear the heartbeat. Breanne Newton said she wasn’t surprised to hear Nieves say she felt better after the transplant.

“That was my sister. She had the energy. She was a regular,” she said, adding, “We are very, very grateful. And it’s just a blessing.”

Surgeons have been transplanting organs from HIV-positive donors to HIV-positive recipients for several years, but this was the first heart transplant, according to Montefiore doctors.

Dr. Omar Said, a transplant cardiologist at Montefiore, said, “I think it will be done again because it has shown it is safe.

“The reality is that more people need a heart than they have access to,” said Dr. Vagish Hemmige, the institution’s infectious disease specialist. “The HIV Heart Transplant Program enables people living with HIV to receive life-saving transplants from otherwise unused donors.”

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