Mother, twin daughter receive heart transplants

A women in Alberta received a heart transplant, told she couldn't have children. She has twins, one of whom also receives heart.

A mother in Edmonton shares a unique bond with one of her twin daughters: they've both received heart transplants for a rare condition.

At 14, Kristy Plotsky received a heart transplant. She has a rare condition called restrictive cardiomyopathy. Plotsky was told she would never have children because of the powerful drugs taken to prevent rejection.

But at 19, Plotsky became the first heart recipient to give birth to twins.

"I was bawling," said Plotsky as she recalled how crushed she was to learn her daughter needed a transplant. "You can't even express how you feel because there are no words to express it."

Now, two years later, one of the miracle twins, Shaylynn, has received a heart transplant of her own.

Cardiologist Dr. Yashu Coe of the department of pediatrics at the University of Alberta treated Kristy and her daughter.

"Shaylynn has a pretty good outlook," said Coe. "If we hadn't done anything, her chance of survival to two years is about 50 per cent."

Shaylynn may still need another transplant in her lifetime. She too has to take powerful drugs to suppress her immune system, the same ones her mother has been taking for eight years.

"You think once you get a transplant, you think all the stress is over and done," said Plotsky. "That's not even the beginning of it."

Plotsky knows better than anyone what challenges face Shaylynn. At the same time, she and her doctors are watching the other twin, McKayla. They hope she doesn't develop the same rare condition.