Katrina Penney was three months old when she was given someone else’s heart.

She has grown up taking medicine throughout the day and has procedures every six to nine months. She goes to the doctor every four to six weeks as well. She had a normal childhood even with all of the obstacles she faced.

Katrina explains that she does not think too much about how her heart is not her own. She recalls questioning if some of her feelings were her own when she was younger. Katrina goes on to say that she has realized that they are her own feelings, but not directly from her heart.

Photo Provided By: Katrina Penney

She was able to partner with Make-A-Wish to design athletic apparel for Lululemon. Her idea was to make the proceeds benefit the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. CHOP is where she received her heart transplant. 

Lululemon worked with Katrina to make her wish come true! The t-shirt she designed had a deep meaning. The stars and moon represent the ones on the ceilings of the CHOP elevators and main atrium. The heart represents that she had a cardiac transplant. The halo represents her donor.

She is currently a freshman here at Saint Joseph’s University. Being off at college has been quite a challenge for Katrina. She explains how being in charge of her medicine is a big responsibility. She is now responsible for her own health and does not have her parents around to remind or help her.

Katrina is grateful to be at Saint Joseph’s University and is glad to be so close to her family. She also finds comfort in being near her donor hospital. 

She explains that she has wanted to be a cardiac nurse ever since she was six-years-old. The doctors and nurses were shocked to find this out. Kids with medical conditions typically want to be as far as possible from hospitals when they grow up. This is due to the fact that they have spent so much of their life in a hospital.

Katrina wants to give back to the community and help kids who have gone through the same battle as her. Here is the link if you would like to donate to Katrina’s Wish!