HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — A generous family is giving a Hamburg woman a second chance at life.
Brendalis Vega had thyroid surgery in 2014 and her husband Jose Collazo said she’s been having health problems ever since.
“It’s very hard because the life for us has changed a lot, she cannot even run, ride bikes with us, play with the kids, she always was tired,” Collazo said.
In November, the bad got worse.
Vega went to Buffalo General three times and the final time she didn’t come home.
A specialist from Rochester checked her and found her heart was too big and was only working 10% of what it should be.
“They say she was gonna need a transplant and they did a good job, they found her the right person. It’s a sad story because it was from a girl that passed away and everything but her family they decided to give the opportunity to donate her heart.”
Vega had the heart transplant surgery February 5 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. When she woke up, her family called her.
“We called her on the phone, she saw the kids she was like, ‘I’m awake for you guys, I’m awake for you guys,'” Collazo said.
He said the health issues were taking the life out of his wife.
“Now since [the surgery] when we talk on the phone on camera she looks so different, so happy, her face looks so alive and everything,” he said. “She’s eating a lot, she’s laughing, she’s walking, she’s going up and down stairs.”
Collazo hasn’t seen his wife in more than a month but he and the kids Facetime her every day.
He said he’ll never forget the gift the heart donor’s family gave his family during the worst time in their lives.
“We don’t know that family or anything but I feel like it’s part of our family now, it’s gonna be part of our family forever and I hope its for a long time.”
If everything goes to plan, Vega will be returning home to Buffalo this weekend.
The family is planning a small ‘welcome home’ celebration for her and the kids can’t wait to hug their mom again.