Union City Woman Stays Strong While Waiting for a Life-Saving Heart Transplant

Adele Pullins (Photo courtesy of NJ Sharing Network)
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Adele Pullins (Photo courtesy of NJ Sharing Network)

Adele Pullins of Union City is loved by her family and friends for her vibrant personality and caring spirit. Her positive energy has always inspired those around her, including her teenage son Trevon. But most people who meet Adele find it hard to believe that she is currently waiting for a life-saving heart transplant.

In 2018, Adele experienced some breathing issues that she simply thought was part of her bronchial asthma condition that she has struggled with since her high school years. However, things took a turn for the worse as she felt extreme gurgling in her chest and her nebulizer failed to provide any relief.

“I felt immobile and I could not breathe whether I was sitting, standing or laying back,” said Adele. “I was very scared, and it felt like I was drowning from the inside.”

Adele’s loved ones rushed her to Jersey City Medical Center (JCMC) where the medical team determined that she was experiencing congestive heart failure due to cardiomyopathy.

“Everything happened so fast,” said Adele. “It was the first time I had ever been diagnosed with a heart condition, and they said my heart was functioning at only 10 percent.”

After two weeks of care at JCMC, Adele was stabilized and referred to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center (NBI), home to one of the nation’s ten largest heart transplant centers. The medical team at NBI successfully implanted a pacemaker and Adele was placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant.

“The toughest part for me right now is accepting that I just can’t live the same way that I used to,” said Adele. “I only have enough energy to do one thing at a time now. Before 2018, I was always on the go – working hard every day and rushing around to clean, cook, take walks and run errands.”

While Adele’s heart condition may have taken away some of her stamina, she feels blessed to be alive and is optimistic that her health will be restored someday soon through a donated heart and transplant surgery.

In New Jersey, there are nearly 4,000 residents (like Adele) currently waiting for a life-saving transplant, and one person in New Jersey dies every three days waiting for a transplant. Just one organ and tissue donor can save 8 lives and enhance the lives of over 75 people. Transplantable organs include heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and intestine. Transplantable tissue includes corneas, heart valves, skin grafts, and bone grafts, ligament and tendons.

To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.

NJ Sharing Network is the federally designated non-profit organization responsible for recovering organs and tissue for the nearly 4,000 New Jersey residents currently waiting for a life-saving transplant. With headquarters in New Providence, NJ, the organization is part of the national recovery system, serving the 110,000 people on the national waiting list. NJ Sharing Network was selected by NJBiz as one of the state’s “Best Places to Work” for the third consecutive year. To learn more, get involved and register as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.NJSharingNetwork.org.