Mom Refuses Abortion, Now Gets Life-Saving Heart Transplant

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 3, 2012   |   1:34PM   |   Chattanjooga, TN

A courageous pregnant woman in Tennessee refused her doctor’s suggestion to have an abortion because she was diagnosed with a rare heart condition that required a heart transplant.

Miracle McIntosh decided against the abortion when she was diagnosed with postpartum cardiomyopathy in 2008 while pregnant with her daughter Zoei. The condition is a deterioration in cardiac function that is sometimes discovered towards the end of a pregnancy and is associated with congestive heart failure and even sudden cardiac death. The heart muscle lacks the ability to contract forcefully enough to pump adequate amounts of blood for the needs of the body’s vital organs.

“I felt like God didn’t bless me with a baby to abort her,” she told the Chattanooga Times Free Press newspaper about her healthy baby.

Now, three years after that decision, giving birth, and constant medical treatment and observation, McIntosh got a heart transplant at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“Mama got her heart; Mama got her heart,” 3-year-old Zoei Granger said, according to the paper.

The paper talks more about the latest on McIntosh’s life and decision:

By the time she delivered Zoei, McIntosh’s heart was badly weakened. She spent the next three years traveling to doctors at the University of Alabama Hospital in Birmingham and at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, who she said kept her alive.

By December 2010, her health had deteriorated so much, doctors didn’t expect her to live.

“In October 2010, I caught pneumonia. I turned around in December and caught strep and then I turned around and had bronchitis infection,” McIntosh said. “So in December I went into renal failure. And doctors weren’t giving me 24 hours.”

Doctors at UAB Hospital bought her time by installing a mechanical heart pump, but it was still a rough year until she learned she was going to have a transplant, she said.

She went home and tried to be a mother to her children, she said, but “I couldn’t walk from my room to the front door. I couldn’t breathe.”

A week before Thanksgiving, she got a call from Vanderbilt, telling her she had a matching heart. The transplant surgery took 13 hours, but the hardship was worth the journey, she said.

“I am so blessed and grateful that I’m able to be here,” said McIntosh. “This has made me a better mom, a better person and my faith is just stronger.”

McIntosh’s mother, Patricia McIntosh, said she can’t stop thanking God for her daughter’s life.

“Blessed and highly favored,” Patricia McIntosh said. “I don’t mean to get religion on you, but that’s just how I feel. God has been good to us.”