Teen in Shasta Lake already got her present, the gift of life


PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) —
It is 10 days before Christmas, but a teenager in Shasta Lake already got her present — the gift of life. ABC7 News spoke with a 14-year-old girl who got a brand new heart just in time for the holidays.

Lizzie Johnson is back at Lucile Packard’s Children’s Hospital Stanford for a routine follow-up. It’s been three months since she received a donor heart and now she’s looking forward to celebrating the holidays.

“It’s New Heart Christmas pretty much. That’s what we call it,” Lizzie said.

Lizzie has come a long way since being diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. She was so sick this time last year that she had to spend Christmas in the hospital, but this year, she’ll be spending it at home — her and her family’s only Christmas wish.

“Last year at Christmas we had no idea what the future was going to hold. So at least this year we know what it might hold,” Lizzie’s mom, Lisa Ozur, said.

Lizzie says there’s a lot she wants to do after the holidays, like returning to her old school, go swimming and maybe even play softball again. But first thing’s first. She still has to figure out her wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

“I wanted to go meet Duck Dynasty and then I changed it, and then I changed it again so I don’t know yet. I don’t know totally. I have to think still,” Lizzie said.

Lizzie’s knows she’ll never have the life of a typical teen. She takes nearly two dozen pills a day and there will still be many trips to the hospital, but she and her family are grateful for this second chance at life just in time for Christmas.

Discover more about our Heart Transplant Center or call (650) 721-2598.

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