Patient with dropped heart leaves hospital after successful transplant

Erika Hernandez, 28, gives a thumbs up from inside an ambulance after being discharged from the hospital where she had a heart transplant in Mexico City, Tuesday Jan. 24, 2012. AP

erika hernandez, dropped heart, heart transplant
Erika Hernandez, 28, gives a thumbs up from inside an ambulance after being discharged from the hospital where she had a heart transplant in Mexico City, Tuesday Jan. 24, 2012.
AP

(CBS/AP) A heart made headlines earlier this month when it wasdropped on the ground while being transportedto the hospital for a transplant. Where's the heart now? Beating healthily in the body of a 28-year-old hair stylist.

Dr. Jaime Saldivar says Erika Hernandez doesn't yet know that her new heart survived a stumble. When a medic tripped after exiting the helicopter, the plastic-wrapped heart tumbled out of a water cooler and onto the street. The medic immediately returned the heart to the cooler and brought it to the hospital, which was just moments away. The surgery was successful.

Saldivar says it will be up to the family to tell her, so HealthPop readers - let's keep this between us.

A rosy-cheeked Hernandez spoke briefly with reporters on Tuesday and thanked the donor's family, saying "I have no words to express what I'm feeling right now."

Hernandez was born with a congenital heart defect and received the heart of a man who died in a car accident.

In case you missed the infamous heart fumble, here it is:

  • CBS News Staff

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