A transplant patient has been pictured holding her own heart in her hands after she survived cancer and organ failure.
Even with the medical mask hiding most of her face, ‘Penny’s’ wide-eyed grin is clear as her new heart beats in her chest and she holds the old one for one last time following the successful procedure.
Penny’s friend Kelsey posted this image on her Imgur profile saying: ‘[Penny] is holding her own heart. She has survived cancer and crippling heart failure and never lost hope.’
Still smiling: Penny is seen holding her heart after she had a transplant following cancer and organ failure
According to Kelsey’s profile, doctors allowed Penny to take a photograph with her dead heart before it was cremated.
Wrapping both hands around it, she holds the heart up to the camera as if it were a trophy.
Now a picture of health, she has this photograph as a keepsake of her ordeal and a reminder of how lucky she is to have received the new heart.
Around 4,000 people every year in the U.S. need a heart transplant but only around 2,300 are able to get them.
Worldwide, about 3,500 heart transplants are performed annually.
A patient is usually kept in the hospital for up to two weeks after the procedure and the amount of recovery time depends on the health of the patient.
Read more: DailyMail