BLOOD DONORS SUPPORT LAUREN SHIELD ’ S HEART TRANSPLANT JOURNEY
In April of 2008 , after experiencing unexplained fatigue , Lauren Shields was diagnosed with viral myopathy , and , ultimately , cardiomyopathy . Viral myocarditis causes the heart muscle to swell and lose its ability to pump blood through the body . Her family was told she would need a heart transplant to survive .
In 2009 , Lauren ’ s name was added to the organ transplant list . During her six-week wait for a new heart , her health was declining , and she required consistent blood transfusions . She survived thanks to hundreds of units of blood provided by NYBC . “ I needed those blood transfusions to keep me alive ,” Lauren said . “ I would have never made it to my transplant that day without those blood transfusions .” She received her donor heart at New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children ’ s Hospital .
After her transplant surgery , Lauren ’ s journey was a struggle , as she suffered a stroke , underwent kidney dialysis and physical therapy , and used a wheelchair .
Blood and heart transplant recipient Lauren Shields speaks at the 2015 NYBC Gala at Cipriani ’ s in New York City .
Today , Lauren is back to being a healthy and active youngster , and she is an outspoken advocate for organ and blood donation . She speaks to audiences about her amazing journey , encouraging others to give the precious gift of life by becoming a donor . “ I do it because of the donors who saved my life , and I do it in memory of them to pay back the good that was bestowed upon me ,” she said .
19 / NYBCe COMMUNITY REPORT