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Mankato woman, 23, receives 2nd heart transplant

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news Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — A Mankato woman who was hospitalized with a failing transplanted heart has undergone lifesaving surgery once again, family members say.

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Alyssa Sandeen, 23, received another heart Thursday night, 15 years after she underwent her first heart transplant at age 8, said her father, Christopher Sandeen.

His daughter learned earlier in the day that a donor heart had become available.

"Alyssa's the one that called me," her father said. "It was kind of hard for her to talk. She was so emotional."

Christopher Sandeen said he reminded his daughter that even when people are told they've been offered a heart complications can arise at the last minute.

"I reminded her of that possibility. I didn't want her to get her hopes up too high," he said. "And she said, 'Yeah, I've been thinking about that.'"

The donated heart was compatible and surgeons at St. Marys Hospital in Rochester performed the transplant. Sandeen's condition was not immediately available Friday.

Christopher Sandeen says his daughter's health has progressively worsened over the last several months as her heart function decreased. She has been hospitalized since November, according to The Free Press.

As a young girl, Sandeen was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a weakening of the heart muscle. The anti-rejection medication she was taking for her first heart transplant weakened her kidneys. Sandeen's mother donated a kidney to her daughter in 2010.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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