Heart Recipient Visits NHS to Share Story

Heart Recipient Visits NHS to Share Story

Heart recipient, Shirley Johnson, recently joined LifeShare to visit with Northeastern Health System employees about organ donation. LifeShare and Johnson were invited to NHS as part of the hospital’s celebration of National Heart Month. According to LifeShare, more than 118,000 Americans are currently waiting for lifesaving organ transplants; more than 700 of them Oklahomans. Johnson began what she calls her, “God Support Journey,” with a 3:00 a.m. heart attack on June 20, 2016. “I was awakened by what felt like an extremely painful cramp between my shoulder blades,” remembered Johnson. “This was the third time in three days I had experienced discomfort between my shoulders. Having done yard work over the weekend, and no longer being a spring chicken, I figured it was just a muscle cramp. Boy was I wrong!” Johnson’s husband, DJ, drove her to the emergency room where she was quickly transported to St. Francis Heart Hospital and rushed to the catheterization lab. Johnson had what is known as a “Widow Maker,” due to her heart attack’s intensity, 100 percent artery blockage, and low national survival rate. “Problem solved…so we thought,” said Johnson. “From June to October I was hospitalized several times. I received medications, a pacemaker/defibrillator, and the heart team attempted catheter ablation in my heart, four times, with no success due to 16 scars discovered in my heart.” Johnson’s condition quickly deteriorated, however her faith was increasing daily. “My faith was on fire! I felt God with me as I endured difficult procedures and had to make life decisions,” said Johnson. “Little did I know, I was about to become part of a miracle...