“I stopped breathing during the night and they resuscitated me. I remember waking up and there’s like a million people standing all around me and they’re going, ‘Wake up, Jacky, wake up!”
Jacky Fields lives in the city of Rochester. On October 19, 2017, she had a heart transplant.
Prior to the transplant, Jacky exercised regularly and had no family history of heart problems.
“I was in pretty good health and I was doing really well,” Jacky said. “And then I stopped doing really well, really fast.”
Doctors later learned Jacky’s heart was operating at only 11 percent efficiency.
“So eventually we called 911 and they took me to Rochester General,” Jacky said. “That’s when I met Dr. Feitell and evidently Dr. Feitell had been talking to Cleveland Clinic and they came up with the idea that I might have sarcoidosis.”
Sarcoidosis is a rare disease that can attack tissue in the lungs or heart. In those rare cases, the disease usually attacks the lungs. But for Jacky, it went after her heart.
The team at Rochester General Hospital determined Jacky would need a transplant.
“I guess my heart was like two-thirds gone at that point,” Jacky said. “They made arrangements for me to go to Cleveland and I just had to wait until they could find a heart that was suitable for me.”
“It’s so important for people here in Rochester to know that they have that connection and there can be those conversations between Rochester General and Cleveland Clinic. I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for that heart and it means the world to me – the donor, the donor’s family.”
Now that Jacky has a new heart, her next adventures are all outdoors.
“I want to be able to go hiking again,” Jacky said. “I want to be able to go sailing and swimming again. I want to see my grandchildren in plays and graduate from high school and graduate from college and get married. I want a long life.”
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