A Heart for Transplant

Kathy Anderson has a heart for organ donation. Literally.

When she was just 20 years old, Anderson received a donor’s heart. Now, 30 years later, she doesn’t miss a beat.

Anderson, of Brandenburg, had been taking medicine while she was pregnant with her twin girls that she later learned had caused her heart to deteriorate. By the time the girls were delivered, her health was serious. Her babies were just three weeks old when her physician, Dr. Laman Gray, flew to Florida to retrieve the heart of a 23-year-old donor.

Kathy Anderson and Family

Kathy Anderson, center, and family

“Transplant was so foreign back then,” Anderson said.

Organ donation took on a new meaning for their family in 2010, when Anderson’s brother died in a car accident. His liver was donated to a woman who was being treated at the University of Kentucky.

Anderson now returns to Jewish Hospital every year for a checkup, and she’s actively helped raise funds to support the hospital system through the Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s Foundation.

“Jewish Hospital is the reason I’m here,” she said. “I’ve had this heart longer than the one I was born with.”