TEMPLE (August 1, 2014) The last few years have been rough for Shyra Chandler of Temple, as she lived with congestive heart failure.
She suffered several heart attacks, and used a left ventricular device assist device to keep her alive.
She spent the last couple of months on the waiting list for a new heart.
"I couldn't believe it. I didn't know when I was going to get the call," said Chandler, who got the long awaited call last Friday. 'I came down to the hospital and they started prepping me and getting me ready."
Chandler spent six hours in surgery at Baylor Scott & White Hospital in Temple.
"It becomes a bit unfortunate when we deal with a young patient because young patients they come with different expectations," said Dr. Basar Sareyyupoglu, a cardiothoracic surgeon.
"As soon as she opened her eyes she just waved her hand and said she feels good and we just told here things are good."
She said she no longer relies on the device to pump her heart, and can now feel her strong pulse.
"It's really crazy to put my finger up to my neck and be able to feel a pulse. It's really surreal," she said.
Chandler is ready to get back to school to study graphic design, and so a variety of other activities she couldn't do before, such as swimming.
Once she is fully recovered, she said she hopes to have the opportunity to thank her donor's family.
"I don't know who it is--who the donor family is--but it's the best gift and blessing anyone can ever do," she said.
“To wake up like this, to have this blessing inside of me, I cannot thank the person enough,” she said.
The hospital staff said the new partnership as Baylor Scott & White is part of what helped make Chandler's heart transplant a reality.
Eight people are currently on the waiting list for a new heart in Central Texas, and a couple hundred others are still trying to get a spot on the list, officials said.