Hometown Hero: Destany Epps-Manuel

Destany Epps-Manuel played competitive volleyball in high school and college. The Cedar Hill mom thought she was healthy, but at 22, she was diagnosed with heart failure.

At age 23, she had an L-Vad implanted in her chest. The device pumped blood from her damaged left artery into her heart.

Strokes and a blood clot meant she needed a new L-Vad, which she got when she was 25. But her health was fading, and she needed a heart transplant.

Destany was 26 when she got her donor heart during a 14-hour operation at Baylor. Six months later, she takes 31 pills every day and looks the picture of health. 

Destany uses her blessing to help men and women waiting for a new heart at Baylor. She's a Heart Ambassador.

Destany shares her firsthand experience and gives her phone number to the patients and their families.

She answers any questions from them any time of day. 

Her volunteer service takes her back to Baylor several  times a month and she's more than happy to help.

She credits her 7-year-old son, Desmond, her family and her religious faith for helping get her through.

She gives a great deal of gratitude to give to the doctors, nurses and staff on the 10th floor of Baylor in its heart transplant unit.         

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