The first heart/double lung transplant at Columbus Children’s Hospital occurred Saturday, December 24, 2005, when 22-year-old Sandy Shreck received a heart and lungs provided by an out-of-state donor.
Born with complex congenital heart disease, Shreck was referred in 2002 to Curt Daniels, MD, of the Columbus Children’s Heart Center and a faculty member of The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health. Daniels is director of the Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Children’s and The Ohio State University Medical Center. This highly-specialized program was created to meet the medical and surgical needs of adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease, providing comprehensive care for this unique and complex patient population.
Born in 1983, Shreck underwent her first heart surgery shortly after birth, followed by additional surgical procedures in 1989 and 2005. She was admitted to Columbus Children’s last November 29, where it became evident that her congenital heart disease had progressed and led to worsening congestive heart failure. All medical treatment options had been exhausted and transplantation was the only option left to her. She was placed on the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) transplant list December 12 and was notified the evening of December 23 that donated organs had become available to her.
Mark Galantowicz, MD, co-director of the Columbus Children’s Heart Center and surgical director of the Lung, Heart and Heart-Lung Transplant Programs at Columbus Children’s, led the transplant surgical team. Todd Astor, MD, a transplant pulmonologist and medical director of the Children’s Lung and Heart-Lung Transplant Programs, is directing Shreck’s post-surgical care. Both physicians are faculty members of The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health.
Shreck and her boyfriend, Keary Miller, reside in Lancaster, Ohio, with Shreck’s nearly-three-year-old son, Payton Harris. Discharged February 8 from the hospital, she is staying with her son at the Ronald McDonald House on the campus of Children’s Hospital, after which she will be cared for by relatives in her hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio, during her recovery. Shreck credits her son with being her “inspiration to undergo the surgery and work hard to recover” so that she can be there for him as he grows up. She wants to share her story so that others will recognize the importance of the incredible gift of organ donation.
The comprehensive Transplant Program at Columbus Children’s is comprised of lung, heart, heart-lung, kidney and blood and marrow transplant services.