LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - A heart transplant for his wife is the best birthday gift a Leesburg father could have asked for.
After being on the most urgent heart transplant list for only eight days, a match for Teresa Taylor was found.
She and her husband Eric are both Albany pastors and have been married for 18 years.
They have a blended family with seven children.
Teresa developed cardiomyopathy after the birth of her last child.
“The doctors say it’s because of women who have multiple children, but that cardiomyopathy turned into heart failure. So my wife has been suffering for 18 years with this disease,” said Eric.
According to the Mayo Clinic, cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body. Cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.
“She was working after she had Joshua then she received a defibrillator at St. Joseph. They thought that was going to be better for her but her heart continued to decline,” explained Eric.
Since then, it’s been an emotional roller coast for the couple and their family, including several overnight trips to Emory Hospital in Atlanta, procedures and missed time from work.
“I hold onto my faith and I have faith in God that he was going to bring her through and just to see how things are working out. I’m just overjoyed because it takes a long time for this process but it just seems like it’s been clicking right after another. One after another and it just makes me very happy,” Taylor said.
The successful surgery was on Oct. 27, the same day as her husband Eric’s birthday.
“I feel like a child in the candy store. It was a little nerve-racking at first. One thing about it, they kept putting the surgery off. They started at 11 o’clock, went to 2 o’clock then went to 6 o’clock in the morning and it ended up being 9 o’clock on the 27, and then it was another 12 hours before they finished,” said Eric.
Eric said Teresa will be home from Atlanta, hopefully before Thanksgiving. He said she still needs hospital attention and will soon enter rehab.
Eric said they will be hosting a community yard sale on Nov. 9, from 7 p.m. to2 p.m.
All proceeds will go towards Teresa's heart fund.
It will take place at BJ’s Country Buffet at 2401 Dawson Road.