Thanksgiving may be synonymous with
stuffing yourself with turkey and
cranberry sauce until you burst, but its
true meaning, giving thanks, has been
lost to some.
not the case for Theresa Zamora, as she
is thankful for her new heart. Subject
of an earlier story in Wrangler News,
Zamora has undergone nine surgeries
since June 22, including a full-scale
heart transplant on Sept. 19.
operation went real well. I haven’t had
any problems with my new heart at
all—yet,” Zamora said. “Knock on wood.”
of three, Zamora has fought every step
of the way, though she admits it would
have been impossible without the aid of
friends and family.
couldn’t have done it without them. My
mom hasn’t left my side. My in-laws have
been kind enough to stay with my kids
the whole time. My husband has come out
on most of the weekends.”
only a biopsy (removing samples of
tissue for analysis) in the way of
Zamora going home for good, she is
already making plans for Thanksgiving.
any setbacks, she would be able to leave
UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and
return to her home in the Kyrene
Corridor. Not out of the woods yet,
Zamora would continue the healing
process with the people she loves the
probably take about a year to get back
to 100 percent. I have to be very
careful about being around crowds of
people. I have to wear a mask in a
public place, because your resistances
are so low--have to be careful about
getting sick. I can’t even get a flu
shot,” she said.
worst over, the last thing to wait for
is a complete recovery. The waiting
itself has been the most tiring of
things, explains Zamora’s husband Tom.
for the heart… the wait to get the body
prepared to accept the heart. There’s
just so many waits. The wait for the
body to even be strong enough, the wait
for her to get strong. It’s just—the
wait. Just so many baby steps.”
taking those baby steps, Tom has worked
to preserve a sense of normality at home
for the sake of their kids.
trying to keep things as normal as
possible for the kids. It has been tough
but not as bad with the help from family
and friends, no way I could’ve done it
without [them],” Tom said.
community and family rallying around
their situation, the Zamoras understand
better than most the true meaning of
Thanksgiving. Theresa and Tom both want
to be sure to give thanks to everyone
who helped them along this difficult
thankful for the family that donated the
heart. My parents, the support they’ve
given me. My in-laws, for being with my
kids back home. I’m thankful for all the
prayers in the community,” said Zamora.
“Thankful for the incredible medical
teams at UCLA, for my employer, thankful
for the wonderful insurance that I
have,” added Tom.
mindset will not be a fleeting one for
the Zamoras, especially not for her,
feel like I’m living not only for
myself, but for the family that gave me
“I really want to take advantage of
everything life has to offer.”