Albany woman receives long-awaited heart transplant

After OHSU suddenly suspended its heart-transplant program, Diana Howell was forced to go else where for a heart transplant.

Posted: Sep 11, 2019 6:42 PM

ALBANY, Ore. -- After Oregon Health and Science University suddenly suspended its heart-transplant program, Diana Howell was forced to go elsewhere for a heart transplant.

Even though OHSU announced last month that they were restarting the program, Diana couldn't wait any longer.


She received a heart donation from Indiana, and she had her operation at a hospital in Seattle on Saturday.

"Two days after surgery, they woke her up and she didn't remember, and they told her you had a heart transplant, and she was so happy. 'We did it we did it!' And she had an innocent little girl smile on her face," said Jeff Howell, Diana's husband.

A heart surgeon at RiverBend Hospital said recovery time is actually fairly short for heart-transplant surgeries. 

"They have the transplant. If everything goes smooth, the recovery goes fairly quick. They'll be in the ICU for a couple of days and then they'll be on the regular floor for a couple of days, but most people leave the hospital within two to three weeks," said Doctor Ashok Venkataraman.

Diana's husband, Jeff, said the eight-hour procedure went well, and she is recovering nicely.

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