Stories about: idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy

Happy birthday to my heart

heart transplant recipient erin

In the foyer of the Geraghty house in Bedford, New Hampshire, 20 red heart-shaped balloons and a wall-to-wall banner welcome Erin Geraghty home from college. It’s not her birthday — she’s 21. It’s not her graduation — she’s a first-semester University of New Hampshire senior. And it’s not Valentine’s Day.

It’s her 20th year with the same heart.

Born with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy — a condition that causes the heart to pump blood inefficiently — Erin received a heart transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital when she was just 1 year old.

Her sister Katie, two years her senior, remembers Erin’s frequent visits to the hospital. “We didn’t understand why mom wasn’t with us, but we knew it was important.”

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