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Amanda Saunders is back in Grand Falls-Windsor after her heart transplant

Grand Falls-Windsor student Amanda Saunders is all smiles five and a half weeks after her successful heart transplant University of Ottawa Heart Institute.
Grand Falls-Windsor student Amanda Saunders is all smiles five and a half weeks after her successful heart transplant University of Ottawa Heart Institute. - Contributed

The last six months haven't been easy for Amanda Saunders.

It’s the time The Grand Falls-Windsor native spent in Ottawa while awaiting and receiving a new heart after suffering right-side heart failure in April 2018.

Saunders received her new heart in late January. Through her recovery, one thought kept the psychology student at Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook going.

She was going to get home again. She was going to return to Newfoundland and Labrador.

“It’s indescribable," she said of being home. "It is great to be able to breathe Newfoundland air again."

Last week she made sure to head to Corner Brook. Saunders descended on the west coast city to support friends she made while taking psychology courses at Grenfell.

She was supposed to be on the stage with them, graduating alongside her classmates.

However, her heart’s gotten in the way for the time being.

She's worked with the school to ensure she'll graduate in 2020.

That plan involves taking the final year of her courses remotely, from Grand Falls-Windsor. Schools can be germ infested after all and Saunders needs to be vigilant when it comes to her health.

In three months, she returns to Ottawa for a heart checkup and to see what she calls her heart family.

In the meantime, Saunders is looking forward to spending her summer away from a hospital bed and in her hometown.

She has plenty of energy now and is looking to help out with the Canadian Transplant Association.

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