A heart transplant survivor has just passed away, only hours after giving birth to her first daughter. Meg Johnson, who was 31 at the time of her passing, delivered her daughter, Eilee Kate, in Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville on Tuesday at 2:40 AM, with her husband present at her side.
Meg’s health history was a miracle in itself, as she underwent a heart transplant seven years ago – after catching myocarditis as a teenager, a fatal disease of inflamed heart muscles – doctors said they do not believe this was the implicit factor in her death.
As medical professionals work to confirm the cause of the sudden death, family and friends have thrown in tremendous support for baby Eilee and widowed Nathan, who works as a freelance musician. By Thursday afternoon, a GoFundMe account that only had the goal of reaching $40,000 had shot up to more than $295,000.
Meg had always been a staunch proponent of organ donation, will save 50 lives and help two people to see via transplants.
Josh Wilson, one of Nathan’s best friends who started the fundraiser, told Daily Mail Online the community is in shock.
‘It was totally unexpected, I can’t stop crying. No one saw it coming. The pregnancy was tough, like all pregnancies. But their doctor had cleared them, said it was safe, and the birth was smooth. They even sat together for hours afterwards just talking and talking. They had no idea.’
Meg was 23 when she underwent a heart transplant in Ferguson, Missouri, where she is from. She contracted a virus in 2002 at the age of 15 which led to myocarditis, a potentially fatal heart disease. After years on medication she was put on the transplant list.
Her case became critical in 2010, aged 23, when she caught pneumonia. Doctors told her family she needed to get the transplant within a week to survive. Within hours, an alert came through that a heart was available. Meg met Nathan – known as ‘Nate’ to his friends – shortly afterwards, and they married in 2012.
According to Josh, the signs of a premature or difficult birth just weren’t there:
‘They were just so happy. Eilee is so beautiful. Nate said they were just so happy and sat together talking and looking at Eilee for hours and hours. Everything was normal. All their family went home to rest. Then between 9 and 10 she started having complications and the doctors rushed in and within about an hour she had passed.’
Josh finished by describing the kind of person that Meg and Nathan were together:
‘The funeral is on Sunday in St Louis. I think there’s going to be a lot of people, and very, very emotional. Meg was such a sweet person. She loved people. Most of all she loved Nate. They just loved each other so much. Their favorite thing to do was to spend time with each other, sitting and talking, or sitting and not talking… Just being together.’
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