Yvonne Fleming is a vibrant 63-year-old Brooklyn resident who loves to ride horses and spend time with her family. But one day several months ago, Yvonne experienced a massive heart attack that destroyed 70 percent of her heart. “The doctor told me that most people who have an attack of that nature usually don’t survive, but I came out fighting,” she says.
Yvonne was diagnosed with ischemic cardiomyopathy, a type of advanced heart failure that is caused by blocked arteries. She spent the next three months in and out of Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan to drain the water that continuously filled her lungs—a direct result of her heart struggling to pump blood and fluids through the body. Yvonne’s doctors told her a heart transplant was her best option.
She didn’t hesitate. She wanted to live. And so the journey to heart transplantation began.