CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A happy birthday billboard on Center Street in Chicopee acknowledges triple transplant recipient Lauren Meizo’s 32nd birthday.
When Meizo was just 23 years old, she went through her first heart transplant in the year 2013 and then went through a long recovery. In the summer of 2017 she would be told that she would need both a second heart and a kidney due to health complications. It has been her fourth year anniversary since Meizo had her second surgery. Meizo exlains that she hopes that she can now live a normal life.
“Right Now, I’m just focusing on being normal, like as weird as that is to say, I see all my friends engaged and got married but you know, I just want to be like everyone else for once,” she said.
Lauren explained how her surgeries have made her a stronger person. “I’m amazed at how stronger I am, but I tell people like when you have no choice, you fight. I had two choices, either give up and die or put up with it and still be here.”
Lauren received her recent heart from a woman that passed away after a traumatic incident. Mike Meizo, Lauren’s father, discusses how an organ donor was instrumental in saving his daughter’s life.
“Becoming a donor, being a donor is the best gift you can give to someone because when you think about it, when you pass away and you’re a donor, you’re actually giving someone else a chance at life,” he said. “She is going to be 32 years old and if she didn’t have this opportunity, this second or third chance at if, she wouldn’t be here today.”
After missing out in her twenties, her fiancé Michael Dutton of nine years is to treat her with a surprise birthday trip.