When Dzhana Simmons' heart became weakened and enlarged so it couldn't pump blood, she underwent a heart transplant. But when that heart failed, doctors scrambled to hook her up to a machine: she survives 118 days without a heart!
Doctors scrambled to come up with a way for Simmons to survive until a new donor heart became available. A custom-made artificial heart was the solution. It looked like a large, complex machine, and Simmons was attached to it for 118 days.
"It was like I was a fake person, like I didn't really exist. I was just here," Simmons said. "Now, I know that I really was here and I did live without it."
"It was scary," said Simmons' mother, Twolla Anderson. "I didn't know from day to day how she was going to turn out or if it would've been fatal or what. Thanks to my buddies, the transplant team -- I love them for everything they've done for her -- I couldn't be happier."
On Oct. 29, Simmons received another donor heart and a kidney, as well.