'Bionic bride' shares story of pain, love, courage

September 30, 2011 4:51:52 PM PDT
Meet the "bionic bride." She walked down the aisle wearing her wedding dress and her heart pump. But Ally Smith Babineaux's story is about more than a wedding day wardrobe. It's a story of courage, of love, and the man who wouldn't leave her.

Ally wasn't crazy about being called the "bionic bride" when she walked down the aisle wearing her white dress and a mechanical heart pump. But she's gotten used to it.

"I won't just go, 'Hi I'm the bionic bride.' I'll let people figure it out," she said.

The bionic Ally married Mike Babineaux exactly one year after her family had been planning her funeral.

"To see her walking and laughing and talking and dancing at her wedding, brings... just tears to everybody's eyes," said Ally's mother, Krista Smith.

"If I was a cat, I'd have three tries left is where I think I'm at right now," Ally said.

Her journey from healthy Texas A&M student to death and back began five years ago when a virus hit her heart and destroyed her heart muscle.

"The hardest thing was to see her all of the sudden not be able to walk up a flight of stairs," Krista said.

Ally was dying when Texas Heart Institute surgeons put in a mechanical heart pump to save her.

"We were back to normal. We just had batteries and extra things we had to carry with us," Krista said.

She got stronger and Mike stayed by her side through the dark days.

"We have been through everything together," Ally said.

She began planning her wedding, but quickly realized making a pump battery work with a wedding dress was a challenge. Her grandmother solved that.

"My grandma sewed it to where it could go around my waist and it could hang on the backside," Ally said.

At the races, she met another doctor -- Dr. McDreamy.

She was doing well until December when the rest of her heart failed. She dropped to 95 pounds.

"On a ventilator for 14 days and waiting and waiting for a heart," Krista said.

In February, she finally got her heart transplant.

"I've probably been opened up three or four times, so hopefully I won't have to go anymore! I think I'm done," Ally said.

She is now working full time and she loves being married.

"It's great," she said.

And Ally is no longer a bionic anything.

"It was kinda a big battle, but we won!" she said.

Ally loves the outdoors. She's already been fishing since she's been home. Soon, she hopes to go deer hunting with her husband, Mike.

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