Grandmother undergoes successful heart transplant during coronavirus pandemic
After years of struggling with heart failure, a Crown Heights woman was given a brand-new heart in the midst of a pandemic.
Elma Lowe, a mother of four and grandmother of four, says she’d struggled with heart failure for years.
At the beginning of the year she was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital, and after a few weeks she was starting to feel discouraged.
“I was functioning on a balloon pump because my heart, it couldn’t go no more,” says Lowe.
That all changed in February, when she was told doctors had found a heart for her.
“My whole persona changed, and I felt pleased because they all rallied around me and made me feel important,” says Lowe.
Dr. Sumeet Mitter, a cardiologist at Mount Sinai, is her doctor, and says as if a surgery of this nature wasn’t risky enough this also was all happening in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Often we have to do routine labs and biopsies of the heart to look for rejection and that was tricky during the pandemic once the patient goes home we have to be like OK, were they exposed to cover,” says Dr. Mitter.
He says they took extra precautions at the hospital, and she did as well. He says she handled it like a champ.
Dr. Mitter also encourages others to become organ donors. It’s something Lowe says she’s actually decided she now wants to do.
“I never wanted to be an organ donor because I feel that you should go back to God the way you came, but now that somebody saved my life, now I could say to somebody, ‘if you can use my eyes you can have them.’ I have a different perspective,” says Lowe.
Lowe says she’s looking forward to getting back in her own home, spending some time in the garden and getting a good meal.