Teen Athlete Returns to the Field Year After Leg Amputation, Heart Transplant
A year ago, 17-year-old Gigi Humeidan fought for her life after a sudden cardiac arrest. It was caused by a rare congenital heart defect, which led to a heart transplant and amputation of her right leg below the knee.
When the heart attack happened, her anesthesiologist aunt Michelle Humeidan performed CPR on her until the paramedics arrived. Over the next few days, Gigi had multiple resuscitations and was kept alive by an artificial heart before a donor’s heart was found.
After the heart transplant, doctors were forced to amputate her right leg below the knee due to circulatory complications from her time on various machines. Gigi was then fitted with a prosthetic, which she has become accustomed to using in her daily life and on the field.
Now a senior at Hilliard Bradley High School in Ohio, Gigi is a starting forward for the Hilliard Lynx club field hockey team. According to her mother, Rola Humeidan, they thought Gigi couldn’t do the things she loved, especially with the heart and the prosthetic leg. However, she surpassed everyone’s expectations, playing with a prosthetic limb less than a year later.
Gigi played for the Hilliard Lynx in her first and second years, as well as in the early stages of last season before her medical issues.
According to Gigi, in an interview with This Week, she can now jog and play as much as possible. Although she can’t run like she used to, field hockey doesn’t require constant running.
Her family provided the necessary support in her recovery, helping her return to the sport she loves. Before field hockey started, Gigi would frequent their backyard with her family to try to learn to play again. And to prepare for the tryouts, Rola said Gigi would train at a park each morning for two hours during the summer.
Now that she’s back on the team, Gigi doesn’t expect special treatment from coaches, teammates, and opponents. In the same interview, she said that she started pushing herself hard when the doctors tried to limit what she could do.
Now that she’s back on the team, Gigi doesn’t expect special treatment from coaches, teammates, and opponents.
After seeing what she’s capable of, doctors and physical therapists placed no limitations on Gigi’s training or playing time. She gets tired but not as much as her teammates when playing, so her mother isn’t worried.
As of this publication, Gigi continues physical therapy and is expected to take heart medication for the rest of her life.
“I have a lot of energy now,” she said. “I just feel so much better now.”