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"This has been one of the most meaningful years of my life, and, as weird as it may sound, one of the best experiences of my life," remarks Hagit of Israel on her experience of receiving a heart transplant.
Hagit was in her 20's when she was diagnosed with a genetic heart disease, Cardiomyopathy; a heart disease that had taken her mother's life.
It was recommended that Hagit travel to the United States to increase her odds of finding a heart donor. "I was received by the international department [at Ochsner]. They take care of the international patients from outside of the US."
"I met with the head of the transplant clinic Dr. Ventura, who is an amazing person, and was followed by their professional, friendly, caring staff," she remembers. "During the time that I spend waiting in the list, I toured New Orleans and found it a live, beautiful city with warm welcoming people. I was really impressed and quite overwhelmed. I found a small but strong, united, and amazing Jewish community. I realized that New Orleans is the best place ever, after Israel, of course!"
I am so grateful and full of appreciation to Ochsner Medical Center and their staff.
Nine months later, on Yom Kippur evening, Hagit was finally called in for surgery. "The surgery was successful and my recovery was so easy and fast that I was discharged from the hospital after only 10 days!"
Then began the rehabilitation process. "I felt stronger every day and my condition got much better than before the transplant, so 6 months after my transplant I was discharged back home to Israel."
As Hagit recovers, she remembers her mother and her battle with the same disease, "She is always with me and I know how happy she would have been to see me like this."
Hagit now lives in a Kibbutz in Israel and is as healthy as ever. "I am so grateful and full of appreciation to Ochsner Medical Center and their staff. As a health care provider myself, I was really impressed and amazed by the professional and experienced practice and standards this facility holds. I will keep in touch with them through the distance."