MEDIA ADVISORY: Heart and Kidney Transplant Patient Marks One Year Since ‘Christmas Miracle’
On Dec. 25, 2020, advertising executive Shana Pereira finally got the Christmas miracle she had been hoping and praying for: the call from a Cedars-Sinai transplant coordinator who told Pereira that she was getting a new heart and kidney.
Pereira, like many transplant patients, had been waiting for years. And she had joked with her care team about how her story would make for a great made-for-TV holiday movie. They even cast the movie in their imaginations. But like the plot of any good made-for-TV Christmas movie, just when things began to look down, generous strangers changed the course of her life, a plot twist threatened to take away everything, and heroes emerged.
In Pereira's case, the generous strangers were a 29-year-old school teacher from Virginia who offered to donate a kidney and a deceased heart donor, the plot twist was a brush with death just as she received the good news, and the heroes were the doctors and care team who came together to give her a new chance at life.
Now, one year later, Pereira and her care team are available for interviews about her heartwarming story of hope and faith. Video footage of Pereira's interview with Cedars-Sinai is available for media use.
Shana Pereira, transplant patient
Irene Kim, MD: Associate Professor, Surgery; Co-Director, Comprehensive Transplant Center; Surgical Director, Kidney Transplantation
Dael Geft, MD: Associate Director, Pulmonary Hypertension Research and Education Advanced Heart Disease; Cardiologist, Advanced Heart Failure/Mechanical Circulatory Support/Transplant Cardiology Attending, California Heart Center
Fardad Esmailian, MD: Surgical Director, Heart Transplant; Professor, Surgery
Peggy Kelley, MDiv, BCC: Lead Christian Chaplain
Sarah Lichtman | 540-834-7954 | Sarah.Lichtman@cshs.org