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'Nightline' Features Northland Woman for Second Time

Posted at: 07/05/2013 2:56 PM
Updated at: 07/05/2013 9:38 PM



More than 18 months ago, Jessica Danielson was living at the Mayo Clinic and waiting for a new heart and liver. She was also celebrating her 30th birthday.

"At the time they actually told me that I had about three years, but it's been 10 so I've actually done pretty well," said Jessica while she waited for her transplant in January 2012.

At 19, Jessica was diagnosed with Restrictive cardiomyopathy. The condition means her heart didn't pump enough blood for her body. She outlived the doctors' three year prognosis, but a decade later the loss of blood lead to liver failure.

At the time she had one hope.

"For me, I hope for good health in my future and a chance to do all the things I want to do," said Jessica.

Jessica's story drew national attention and she was featured on ABC's 'Nightline,' when they focused on organ transplant patients.

"They ended the story with me still waiting and so a lot people didn't know what happened to me after that and at the time I didn't know what was going to happen to me," said Jessica.

Then, just over a year ago, Jessica got a new heart and a new liver. She's now back in Duluth and back behind the scenes at WDIO where she works in production. And 'Nightline' returned on Sunday.

"To be able to show people that there really is a happy ending to my story and that my organ transplant really did save my life," Jessica said.

Jessica said the night that first 'Nightline' segment aired, more than 100,000 people registered to be organ donors. Now that Jessica is healthy and happy, she hopes the segment airing Friday will get people thinking, again.

"I hope they think, 'what if something were to happen to me? What good can come of it?' And organ donation is one way to bring joy out of something so tragic," explained Jessica.

Jessica's segment will be on 'Nightline' Friday on ABC at 11:35.