In 2011 — on the same day — Taylor Givens and Collin Kobelja received heart transplants at Inova Heart and Vascular Institute. A few years later, they started dating. Here’s their story.
Valentine’s Day might seem like a silly holiday for some, but for Collin and I, who met at Inova after we received our heart transplants, this day means everything.
Today we’re celebrating our second Valentine’s Day together thanks to the incredible and compassionate team at Inova who saved our lives.
A few years ago, Collin and I didn’t even know each other — even though we were in hospital rooms just a few feet apart. Our parents had met though, through long and anxious hours at the Inova Heart and Vascular Institute, where we were both dying of heart failure.
I was 24, and the doctors told me I couldn’t live another 24 hours without a heart transplant. Next door, Collin was getting the same diagnosis.
Both of our lives were saved on the same day — and forever connected — when we received heart transplants.
Two Hearts Connected
I’d never met anyone else who’d had a heart transplant, so I desperately wanted to be friends with Collin. He was having such a hard time, though; he was just trying to survive. Collin and I did eventually become Facebook friends and stayed in touch online.
Five years later, we met in person for the very first time. I was in the hospital recovering from tonsil surgery, and Collin was visiting the heart transplant team to thank them again for saving his life.
Our first official date was on June 9, 2016 — five years to the day since our heart transplants.
We’re so grateful to Inova for their expert care, and for being with us and our family every step of the way.