Watching This Cancer Survivor Hold Her Own Heart Is Nothing Short Of Amazing

"She never lost hope."

Two years ago, Imgur user KelseySnuffaluffagus introduced the internet to her friend Penny Smith. Penny, Kelsey said, had received a donor heart after experiencing "crippling heart failure." She also had survived cancer, proving that she's one brave and tough cookie.

Penny was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkins T-cell lymphoma at the tender age of 3, going into remission at age 6, according to the NY Daily News. Chemotherapy weakened her heart, and it was always known that it would likely fail and need to be replaced.


According to organ donation advocacy group Donate Life, a new name is added to the wait list every 10 minutes. Approximately 21 people die each day while waiting in vain for lifesaving organs to come. 

Penny was fortunate enough to receive the call for a donor heart less than a month after she was put on the list. The heart previously belonged to a young male, but nothing else is known about this man except that he undeniably saved Penny's life.

Following the successful transplant in 2012, Penny was allowed to pose with the heart that was taken from her body, which her friend Kelsey ultimately posted to Imgur.

Continue reading to see Penny's picture.

Here is Penny, holding the heart that failed her while the donor heart beats in her chest.

Many Imgur users questioned the fate of Penny's old heart, wondering if it ended up in a jar, to be marveled at for years to come. Kelsey explained that while Penny wanted to do exactly that, the hospital wouldn't let her. The organ was cremated, and she did end up keeping the ashes as a memento.

Best wishes of continued health to Penny!

[H/T: Buzzfeed]

[Header image: Imgur/KelseySnuffaluffagus]


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