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Positive Perspective

Growing up in Grand Junction, it’s easy to get acquainted with the outdoors.

For Jenna Fisher, an administration representative for Parkview Medical Center’s admissions department, access to Colorado’s stunning beauty would never have been possible without the ultimate gift from two young people.

“I was born with hypoplastic right heart syndrome, so pretty much only half of my heart worked,” Fisher said. “I was listed at 8 months old for a transplant and received one at 10 months old.”

Fisher’s condition at birth meant that the right half of her heart was underdeveloped or malformed, but after receiving her transplant, she was able to enjoy life as any child would.

“Granted, I was in the hospital a lot. I was raised at the hospital,” she said. “But I did all the other things that kids normally would. I played sports. I played with my brother.”

Then by the time she was 10 years old, her heart began to slowly fail and Fisher found herself on the waiting list again.

By 18, she received her second transplant and has been in good shape ever since.

Being a two-time recipient of a heart transplant helped Fisher put life into perspective.

“I run three miles a day, I go to the gym and I hunt my butt off,” she said. “I didn’t choose to be born the way that I was, but being a recipient, I wake up every day knowing that I went through one of the most dangerous surgical procedures twice. So if I get a paper cut, I brush it off or if someone gives me a dirty look I can tell myself they’re just having a bad day.”

Fisher said she tries to make sure she goes out and does something to use her heart. It also gives her a unique perspective on the importance of organ and tissue donation and helps her encourage others on the waiting list.

“I’ve always wanted to encourage people to help them or coach them,” she said. “I know that even if I didn’t get the call and I passed, I would have been able to help so many other people who are on the list like me.”

There are more than 2,500 people on the waiting list for organ and tissue donation in Colorado and more than 120,000 nationwide.

Parkview is proud to partner with Donor Alliance. To register to be a donor, got to Parkview Medical Center’s website, or follow this link:

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