Strong Memorial Hospital Increasing Heart Transplant Procedures For Better Patient Care

In 2023, there was a significant increase in the number of heart transplants, with over 46,000 performed, representing an 8.7% rise compared to the previous year. Strong Memorial Hospital, located in Rochester, New York, is one of the busiest heart transplant centers in the United States. This year, they achieved a record number of 40 heart transplant surgeries, an impressive 82% increase from their previous record of 22 transplants in 2022.

Denise Champagne, a heart transplant recipient, recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of her life-saving surgery at Strong Memorial Hospital. Denise had been battling a rare heart defect since she was eight years old, undergoing three open-heart surgeries before finishing high school. This led to multiple valve replacements, ultimately resulting in heart failure in 2021. Dr. Katherine Wood, a cardiac and heart transplant surgeon at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), performed Denise’s extensive 12-hour surgery.

Following her successful transplant, Denise emphasizes the importance of exercise in her recovery. No longer able to exercise as a child due to her cardiac condition, Denise now embraces physical activity to maintain her health and honor the gift of her newly transplanted heart. While she doesn’t have plans to run a marathon in the future, Denise remains hopeful about what lies ahead and appreciates the opportunity to plan for a future she once doubted would exist.

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