Teen heart transplant recipient shares encouraging story

Number of transplants sorted by ages in Missouri.

Lying in hospital bed plugged up to a number of machines all working to keep her alive. It may look sad and helpless, but this is the moment where it all turned around for Kayla Adams. She was given a new heart.

Kayla developed serious heart problems when most people were taking their first steps. She was born with a hole in her heart. "I had three open heart surgeries by the time I was three,â?? Adams said.

By the age of 16 Kayla who loved cheerleading, photography and her pet cat and dog Bruno and Oliver already was diagnosed with heart failure, received a heart valve and a pace maker. "I started school my junior year and it was a good the first couple of weeks and then I started to get tired,â?? Adams said.

By the spring semester doctors told Kayla she needed a heart transplant. "I wasn't nervous Iâ??ve been ready for this transplant for so long,â?? Adams said. â??Iâ??ve known for some years now that I need a transplant. Over the years Iâ??ve been preparing myself, because Iâ??ve known I would need one. So, it wasn't really like a surprise or shock to me. I was ready."

According the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services by March of 2013 seven people between the ages of 11 and 17 had heart surgeries in Missouri and just 19 days after being put on the list Kayla found out she was going to get a new heart. "'Iâ??m like oh my God! And I started freaking out,â?? Adams said.

They say home is where the heart is even if it's not the heart you were born with. "Iâ??m excited to get back to school and not be tired." There are 1,884 people in Missouri on the waiting list for an organ. 130 of those are for a heart.

If you would like more information on how to be a donor and save a life, click HERE.

To see how Missouri relates in heart transplants compared to the surrounding states click HERE.