Teen-Age Heart Recipient Visited By Another Heart Recipient
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A teen-age girl who received the heart of an admiring boy was visited Friday by another 14-year-old heart recipient who told her, ″It’s your heart now. Be as active as you can.″
The heart implanted in Donna Ashlock came from Felipe Garza, 15, who had dated Donna and had told his parents he wanted her to have his heart if he died. Felipe collapsed Saturday when a blood vessel in his brain burst, and the transplant was performed the next day.
Friday’s visitor was Quincy Munch, who received a heart transplant in October 1984. The husky youth, who now plays tackle football and is learning karate, said he encouraged Donna to become active as soon as her doctors allow.
″I tried to get her (to get) up and walk around. I wanted to teach her some video games,″ Munch said. But, he said, said Donna seemed a bit bored.
He said he doesn’t think much about who his donor was and wanted to offer the same advice to Donna.
″I don’t think about it. I just try to be like a normal kid,″ he said.
Donna’s father, Raymond, said his daughter is thinking about her unusual donor, ″but she’s acting like it doesn’t bother her″ that the heart came from a boy she said had a crush on her for three years.
Quincy’s mother, Hosanna Bauer, said she didn’t think transplant patients should know who their donor was ″so no one does psychological head-tripping for the rest of their lives.″
She said the heart should be ″a gift with no strings attached.″
Unlike Donna, who was suddenly found to have a degeneration of the heart muscle, Munch had suffered from heart problems since birth. He said the transplant made a ″radical, radical change - a change for the better.″
Donna, who has been transferred from the intensive care unit to the pediatric unit at Pacific Presbyterian Hospital, is to have a biopsy Monday to determine whether her body is rejecting the heart. But doctors have said her prospects are very good.
Meanwhile, the Ashlocks say they have been deluged with media requests for the story behind the gift of life Felipe gave to Donna. Donna’s father is upset by the requests.
″I think it’s pretty stupid right now,″ he said. ″This isn’t the time. They shouldn’t be doing that.″