Young woman given a second chance at life

Young woman given a second chance at life (WICS)

February is American Heart Month and we're sharing the story of a young woman given a second chance at life, thanks to the generous gift of an organ donation. Melissa Janik was a healthy child. She played in the marching band, went to college, and worked a job. But life changed for Melissa in 2016 when a common cold turned into a life or death situation. At just 20-years-old, Melissa went into heart failure and was airlifted from a Carbondale hospital to Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. "Two days after arriving in St Louis, my heart crashed and I ended up on life support," said Melissa. "I woke up three weeks later with an LVAD." Melissa spent a total of six weeks in the hospital, before returning to Springfield to recover with her new medical equipment, a Left Ventricle Assist Device. Melissa eventually moved back to Carbondale and found her new normal with her LVAD machine. In December of 2017, Melissa was placed on the organ transplant list. Just weeks later, on January 13, she got the call. The next morning, she went into surgery and received a new heart. As she continues to recover from her life-saving transplant, Melissa and her family have found new purpose in life as they raise awareness about the importance of organ donation. "If I could say anything to my donor's family, it would be thank you so much for giving me this second chance at life," said Melissa.To learn more about how to become an organ donor, click the link:
close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off