Woman implanted with heart device inspected by her mother

- After a woman was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition, the device that ended up saving her life was inspected by her own mother.

After 20 years of building and inspecting medical devices at Abbot, formerly St. Jude’s, Mai Vang’s daughter received a life-changing diagnosis.

Simply put, her heart had a hole in it. As a new mother herself, Bao Lee began to worry about her longevity.

“You have this flash forward kind of moment: ‘Will I ever get to see her do this, go to school, go to prom?’ All those things,” Lee told Fox 9’s Courtney Godfrey. “Will I live long enough to see that?”

Vang describes seeing her daughter’s stress and worry, wishing she could help.

As Lee learned more about her condition, and the surgery she would require, she was reminded of her mother’s work.

“When the doctor told me I had a hole in my heart, I’m like, ‘Man this is sounding like the stories my mom tells me about the lives they help impact at her workplace.’”

It turns out, the very device that would close the hole in Lee’s heart, was the device her mother inspected daily.

During an interview, Vang became emotional.

“I told them, I want the one that I inspect for my daughter,” Vang recalled. “I want a really good one for my daughter.”

Through her tears, she asked her boss if they could help insure that she was the one to personally inspect her daughter’s life-saving device. Her boss agreed.

All worry subsided for both women when surgery day came.

The implant that now hugged Lee’s heart had her mother’s touch, giving her heartbeat a new rhythm, and their bond a new meaning.

“It's neat to know that I'll always have a piece of her a part of me forever," said Lee.


When she was diagnosed, Lee wasn’t sure she would be around for her first child. She is now expecting her second.

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