SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) — A Brigham Young University student is lucky to be alive, several times over, because of the incredible gift of organ transplants.
She’s using her story of survival to bring awareness to campus on the importance of organ donation.
Lauren had not one, or two, but three heart transplants. She and her public relations classmates are holding an event so more people just like Lauren can have a second or 3rd chance at life.
The 25-year-old BYU senior says all three of her hearts have a different story.
“Technically 4 if you count the one I was born with.”
Lauren Holbrook’s life was fragile from the beginning.
“The first transplant happened when I was 18 months old. I was 4 months old when I was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease and that causes aneurysms in your blood stream.”
Those aneurysms got into her coronary arteries.
“What happened with the 2nd and 3rd ones, I was 12 when I got the second and 3rd when I was 14. I got what’s called transplant coronary heart disease each time.”
Plague had built up around the heart each time due to the daily transplant medications. On top of that?
“I was diagnosed with cancer, so there’s a transplant specific cancer that I’ve had 6 times.”
Her story has inspired her classmates to bring more awareness. BYU’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America has partnered with Intermountain Donor Services to host a large event next week on organ donation awareness called Celebrate LYFE in hopes people will register to become a donor.
“It’s blown me away what she’s gone through. What she is today is so inspiring,” said Aimee Colton, classmate.
Lauren is graduating in three weeks and looking for a job. She’s hoping to spread more of her message that’s near and dear to her heart!
The event is April 9 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in Brigham Square on BYU’s campus. Families and people of all ages are invited.