Shock: She was stopped at the airport for carrying her… heart

21 June, 2024

A heart transplant patient has revealed how she was stopped by airport security for an hour while carrying her old heart to Australia.

Jessica Manning, 30, from New Zealand, underwent a double heart and liver transplant eight years ago after suffering complications at birth. She was born with six heart defects and underwent more than 200 operations before receiving the transplants.

She initially donated her heart to science, but after 10 months she was told it was no longer needed and decided to keep it in a plastic bag at home.

However, she ran into a problem when she was stopped by airport security on her way to Australia, where she had decided to move, with the heart in her hand luggage. Jessica said the officials wanted to check that there were no health risks in bringing the heart into the country, and once this was confirmed, she was able to continue on her way.

“So I stayed there for about an hour trying to get this heart into Australia. But I’ve got it now and it’s safe in my wardrobe,” he told the New Zealand Herald. Jessica had three open-heart operations before the transplant, the first when she was five months old, and two more when she was three and six. She developed liver disease at the age of 22 as a result of the heart operations.

In 2016, doctors were concerned about performing a double heart and liver transplant because of the risks, but eventually gave the go-ahead, but she had to endure a long wait to find a donor. At that point, she was told that if she didn’t have a transplant, her life expectancy would be two years.


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