Camila Gonzalez

Camila had three transplants. She underwent a heart transplant on September 14, 2004. Then she underwent a heart transplant on February 10, 2019, immediately followed by a kidney transplant on February 11, 2019.

General Questions

How old are you?


Where are you from?

South Lake Tahoe; Hayward

1st Transplant – Heart

What was your transplant?

Heart, received September 14, 2004

What was your condition that led to the transplant?


Why did you have two hearts?

My lungs weren’t working on their own and my heart wasn’t functioning.

Where did the two hearts come from?

One was my native heart and the other was the donor heart

How did that work?

My native heart and my donor heart were connected. My native heart pumped blood to the whole body and my donor heart pumped blood to my lungs.

How was the road to recovery?

I have no idea. I was 22 months when I got that.

Why did it not work out?

My donor heart stopped working and my artery started closing. I got coronary artery disease and it led to my second transplant.

When were you placed on the list?


How did your heart hold up that long?


My first heart transplant lasted 14 years.

Did you feel tired with your failing heart?

Tiring, because I couldn’t do much and the doctors put me on Milrinone and I felt better but I felt trapped.

Camilla led a normal life until 14, when everything dropped.

2nd Transplant – Heart & Kidney

What was your transplant?

Heart & Kidney

What was your condition that led to the transplant?

For the heart, it was coronary artery disease. They replaced her kidney because they didn’t want her kidneys to fail later after transplant.

How long did you wait for your transplant?

2 years

What was it like when they told you a heart was available?

I was so emotional I cried. Finally, my life can get back to normal.

How was the road to recovery?

It was hard cause I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t walk, eat, and I had to go to rehab to relearn everything. I had a tracheostomy and I couldn’t eat for 3 months. I had it until March and June 18 they took it out.

How does it feel now?

It’s back to normal. All I needed was my transplant and to get that PICC line out of me.

How do you predict it’ll be in a year?

Still good.

Camila said same or better, but she’s leaning towards better.

What are you most excited about after being healthy?

Travel. Because I couldn’t travel before.


1st Transplant – Heart

Do you know your donor?


What do you know about your donor?

They were from San Francisco.

Would you like to meet your donor family?

Yes. To thank them that they were willing to give up their loved one and donate their organs to save someone else.

2nd Transplant – Heart & Kidney

Do you know your donor?


Would you like to meet your donor family?

Yes. For the same reason.

How do you try to live your life now?

As normal as possible.

What would you say to people considering to be an organ donor?

You should consider it because it could save many people’s lives and even children. You could get closure knowing your loved one lives through someone else.

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