Transplant Patient Gives - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Transplant Patient Gives

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Gudelia Bustamante is thankful to be alive. "Thank God to be alive...and have my family together."

The 58-year-old mother of three and grandmother of seven, survived a rare, double organ transplant.

"So they called you Wonder Woman?"

"They were calling her 'Wonder Woman' because she kept bouncing back," says her husband Bob.

After suffering congestive heart and liver failure, she needed a transplant of both organs and finally received them four months ago at UCLA Medical Center.

"This is a relatively unusual procedure," says Dr. Ronal Busuttil.

Over the psat 20 years, doctors there have performed only three of these combined transplants.

"Even if the two transplant organs work well, there can be infections, there can be other organ dysfunctions," says Dr. Mario Deng.

Gudelia's speedy recovery surprised everyone. Doctors say her body is responding well to her new organs.

"I can't thank you enough, you know, I love you," says Bob to Dr. Deng.

"Thank you."  

Gudelia credits loved ones for carrying her through.

"What gave you strength?"

"My family and all the prayers from all my friends."

She also gives thanks to the unknown donor who lost her life. "She's in heaven."

According to the most current data from the United Network for Organ Sharing, only 139 combined heart-liver transplants have ever been done in the United States since the first surgery was performed in 1992.

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