TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - For a lot of people, their 21st birthday means celebrations and coming of age.
For one local East Texan, her 21st birthday is shadowed by the need for a new heart — a second new heart.
Paige Danovsky is no stranger to heart issues.
“It started when I was eight, I fell out in school in second grade, doctors here misdiagnosed me said it was fever or virus had to run its course,” said Danovsky. “We went to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving and I started throwing up blood.”
She had her first heart transplant when she was eight years old and it seemed to have worked.
“I died for 27 minutes,” said Danovsky.
Danovsky’s new heart is now failing.
“They said I was in cardiac failure again and I would be needing my second heart transplant,” said Danovsky.
Next week, after her 21st birthday, she’s moving to Galveston to be near the hospital that will be performing the transplant.
“Once I go on the list, I have to be within an hour of the hospital that way once the heart does come in we’re there like that,” Danovsky said snapping her fingers. “Galveston from Tyler is a five-hour drive.”
Danovsky said the reason her current heart is failing is because she tried to start a family.
“I’ve miscarried twice and when they changed my meds they told me it would be safe in order to do that,” said Danovsky. “The two miscarriages and the meds is what caused a lot of this.”
But, she’s not giving up hope on a new heart — or a family.
“Having a family is very big to me, it’s something I really want to do in the future,” said Danovsky. “They told me that I won’t be able to carry, so in the future, we’re going to adopt or find a surrogate.”
Danovksy said she’s grateful for the support of her friends, family and the whole Smith County community.
She hopes after her second heart transplant and the recovery following it, she’ll be able to move back to Tyler.
If you’re interested in donating to Danovsky’s medical funds, there is a go fund me set up. Click here.