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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Wednesday May 22, 2013 04:10PM EDT
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- May 14, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 20
Transplant Romance: New Hearts, New Love
Jordan Merecka and Linda Thibodeaux Fell in Love After Receiving Life-Saving Organs at the Same Texas Hospital
They can joke about germs now, but when they met last year as gravely ill heart-transplant patients, even one wayward microbe was no laughing matter. Recovering from her second transplant at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, Linda, 22, was introduced to Jordan, 19, who was hooked up to an artificial heart while waiting for a new one. (Both had congenital heart conditions.) Told by his parents and nurses of the girl downstairs with a similar ailment, "he came to meet me," says Linda.
Eager to learn more about him, she made him a blanket in the maroon-and-white colors of his favorite school, Texas A&M, and left her number. After he left the hospital last Thanksgiving, romance blossomed. "When you have our condition, you can only tell your family so much," says Linda. "Jordan had walked in my shoes." Adds Jordan: "What we had in common-it's just amazing."
Their moment of truth came last fall, when, still waiting for a heart, Jordan took a turn for the worse. "The idea of losing him," says Linda, "was devastating." When an organ finally became available, Linda burst into tears. "I told him I loved him," she says. Six months later, they're both doing well-he's headed to Texas A&M at Galveston in the fall to study marine engineering, and she hopes to become a dentist. And they've lost their new hearts to each other.
- Wendy Grossman Kantor/Washington,
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