February 3, 2024
Mom Returns Home After Receiving Heart Transplant Year After Delivering Son
The new mom experienced spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), a rare heart condition causing tears in the arteries feeding the heart muscle.
Naiya Atkins has endured an arduous medical journey since giving birth to her son one year ago in February 2023. The first-time mother from New Jersey is heading home after receiving a lifesaving heart transplant.
Against harrowing odds, ABC News reported that Atkins received a new heart on Jan. 6 after less than three weeks on the waitlist.
The new mom experienced a condition called spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), a rare heart condition causing tears in the arteries feeding the heart muscle.
“I just felt lightheaded, hot, cold,” Atkins recounted in an interview with WABC. “But you know, I’m attributing it to ‘I’m a new mom.'” Her journey began a little over two weeks — 17 days — after she delivered her son Joseph Zion Griffith, who is now one year old.
SCAD plunged Atkins into a medical rollercoaster. She was intermittently hospitalized over several months as doctors fought to preserve her failing heart. The battle reached its lowest in November when her physician delivered the grave news that a transplant was necessary. Atkins was sent to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, where she spent the next two months, according to ABC News.
“I couldn’t believe it … I had only been on the list for less than three weeks,” she said, according to the news source. While Atkins soldiered through her fight, her husband, Tristan Griffith, raised baby Joseph.
“You live your life a certain way…and then things happen,” Griffith reflected on the complications she endured after giving birth. Now, the reunited family can embrace Atkins’ return and the chance for her to experience the joys of motherhood at home finally. “I made it through,” she declared.
Symptoms of SCAD might include dizziness, pain or pressure in the chest, shortness of breath, an upset stomach, and others, according to the Mayo Clinic.