Mom beats the odds after receiving life-saving heart transplant in time for Christmas

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's a special Christmas for a single mom, who defeated the odds even after some doctors had given up hope.

Victoria Guajardo had spent much of the last two years separated from her 9-year-old son, Alfredo De la Cruz.

"I was sad when she was transferred to Houston," Alfredo told ABC13. "I couldn't be with her."

He couldn't be with her because her heart was failing. At just 27, Guajardo suffered a heart attack and her heart would not pump. A hospital in her town of Harlingen, Texas told her they could save her, but things did not go as well as they thought.

"(Doctors) did an open heart surgery where my heart stopped twice," Guajardo recalled. "So that's when they decided they were not able to do anything else for me, so they transferred me to Houston."

From there, Guajardo went to Memorial Hermann in the Texas Medical Center and they gave her hope. Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Ismael Salas and a team of physicians installed a pump. Then they got Guajardo on the list for a transplant.

"She is a really good person and a fighter," Salas said. "I'm very proud of all our team. This is a case where many people will give up or don't move forward."

After waiting for almost two years, Guajardo got a new heart in October. She does not know whose heart is beating in her chest but is she's very grateful to the donor.

"I'm very grateful for (the donor)," Guajardo expressed. "For them, for their family. It's bittersweet. It's a blessing to have a new heart this Christmas."

Since her surgery, Guajardo's prognosis is good. She is doing well, and, most importantly, she gets to spend the holidays with her family. Especially with her son who is thankful to be back with his mom.

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