In a 100-year-old home in Rochester, originally built for one of Mayo Clinic's first surgeons, is where Alyssa Sandeen spent 5 months of her life.
We first told you about Sandeen in the summer of 2013, not long after she got her second heart transplant. She got her first at age 8 in 1998, a heart that lasted 15 years – but barely.
Heart attacks in 2011, 2012 and 2013 landed her at Rochester's St. Mary's hospital for 6 months waiting for a donor. Then, just as she had done as a little girl, she moved into the Gift of Life Transplant House in Rochester for a few months. It's a place to stay, as doctors want their patients nearby for a while.
Now, Sandeen is opening up about her new heart that's fully of new love.
"They don't really give time frames anymore because you never know, there's some people going on 25 years now," she said about the longevity of her heart.
Sandeen's new heart has been busy. She recently got engaged to Adam, a friend of a friend who simply showed up to visit her in the hospital.
"He just kind of came in and surprised me with a stuffed animal and I thought it was really cute."
It was during her time at the Gift of Life House when he first asked her out. The couple now lives in Rochester, the city that has twice kept her alive, and they recently found out, through biopsies of Sandeen's new heart, there are now zero signs of rejection.
"As long as you take care of yourself, and it kind of depends what your heart wants to do, too," she said.
What her heart wants now is a wedding. The couple will probably get married sometime in 2016 and they hope to travel the world. They also hope that heart stays strong.
Sandeen's next major procedure comes in March, but it is cosmetic, rather than cardiac. During CPR to save her life, there was a bit of a mishap and some medicine spilled on her skin which left some burns on her neck and chest. She will be getting a skin graft to repair that ahead of her wedding.