WASHINGTON – Courtney Montgomery's heart was failing fast, but the 16-year-old furiously refused when her doctors, and her mother, urged a transplant.
Previous surgeries hadn't helped and the North Carolina girl didn't believe this scarier operation would either. It would take another teen who's thriving with a new heart to change her mind.
"I was like, `No, I don't want this. If I'm going to die, I'm going to die,'" Courtney recalls. "Now I look back, I realize I wasn't thinking the way I should have been."
Teenagers can add complex psychology to organ transplantation: Even though they're minors, they need to be on board with a transplant because it's up to them to take care of their new organ. Depression, anger and normal adolescent pangs — that tug-of-war with parents, trying to fit in — can interfere. It's not just a question of having the transplant, but how motivated they are to stick with anti-rejection treatment for years to come."The