Young couple awaiting transplants at same hospital fall for each other
Two teenagers awaiting heart transplants at a Texas hospital got more than they hoped for - when they fell in love.
Linda Thibodeaux and Jordan Merecka were waiting for the life-saving surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston when their physical therapists and nurses thought they should meet.
Linda had just been fitted with a new heart, which was the second transplant she had undergone, while Jordan, 18, was still hoping for a suitable match.
Instead, he was living on an artificial heart named SynCardia that weighed 400 pounds, which he had to drag along to their first awkward encounter.
But the pair bonded over their extraordinary struggles for survival.
‘I’d never met anyone my age who was going through pretty much the same exact thing,’ Linda told ABC13. ‘Its a connection you can’t really have with anyone else.’
‘You’re never probably ever going to find someone else who knows what you’ve been through and relate to it like she can,’ added Jordan.
Jordan remained on his mechanical heart for five months while he waited for a suitable donor.
On the brink of death, a match was finally found.
‘I felt like myself getting a whole new heart again, but it was him and it was a beautiful moment,’ said Linda.
Their romance blossomed as they recovered from their respective surgeries and, six months later, they are both healthy and campaigning for more organ donors.
‘I wouldn’t be here without someone donating their heart and it’s such a selfless act,’ Linda said.