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Mother, son receive heart transplants with same doctor

Luke Medina’s mother, Tina, knows the procedure well. Twenty five years ago, she too had a heart transplant at the same hospital - with the same doctor. (Photo: Provided for WHAM)

Macedon, N.Y. (WHAM) - A Macedon teen is recovering from a heart transplant in Boston Children’s Hospital.

Luke Medina’s mother, Tina, knows the procedure well. Twenty five years ago, she too had a heart transplant at the same hospital - with the same doctor.

“No knowledge in the world prepares you for what you’re about to see,” Tina said. "Being the parent on the other end of it, I can really relate to what my mom must have seen and gone through."

Tina Lash-Medina was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy when she was a teenager. She and her husband Marty wanted to have a family, despite recommendations from doctors who feared a pregnancy after a heart transplant could impact her health. Doctors assured her cardiomyopathy was not hereditary.

Tina successfully gave birth to Luke in 2003 - a healthy baby and healthy child. When he was seven, Luke was diagnosed with a heart murmur. The Medinas took him for more testing and it was discovered Luke also had cardiomyopathy.

“I was floored” Tina said. “I couldn’t believe it. I said, 'This can’t be. I was told it couldn’t happen.'"

The Medinas then learned geneticists had just discovered that cardiomyopathy was, in fact, hereditary and that Luke would also need a heart transplant.

A few weeks ago, Luke was scheduled for a heart catheterization at Boston Children’s Hospital. While they prepped him for the procedure, doctors informed the Medinas that a heart had just become available for Luke.

The heart was a perfect fit and the surgery was a success. Four days after it, Luke’s energy was returning and he was asking for his favorite Fanta soda.

“It was life changing,” Luke said. “I can’t wait to get out there get some fresh air and live my life."

Luke, now 14, is a freshman at Palmyra-Macedon. He loves the theater and being in the school’s drama productions.

Tina and Luke are the first mother-son heart transplant recipients at Boston Children’s Hospital. Staff, nurses and doctors are all amazed by their story.

Luke was discharged Friday and is in now in transitional housing for transplant recipients. They hope to return home to Macedon when doctors give the okay.

Marty Medina has written a book called Luke, I’m Your Daddy based on journals he’s kept since Luke was born.

Proceeds go toward cardiomyopathy research.

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