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Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Anna Linck credits heart transplant and holistic healing with survival

Anna Linck with Wendy Farrar, NCTMB

Anna Linck (left) with Wendy Farrar, NCTMB, integrative health practitioner with the Penny George™ Institute for Health and Healing

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Anna Linck credits the power of modern medicine with the life-saving heart transplant she underwent on Easter morning.

She credits the power of integrative care with helping her hang on during the 10-week hospital stay leading up to the transplant.

Linck, now 25, was diagnosed early in life with a heart condition. For years, she followed her doctors' advice and lived a full life. In January 2010, she suffered from a serious episode of heart failure and was stunned when doctors told her she needed to check into Abbott Northwestern immediately.

Wendy Farrar, NCTMB, integrative health practitioner with the Penny George™ Institute for Health and Healing, worked closely with Linck. "As her condition worsened, we were dealing with significant pain and nausea," explained Farrar.

Linck found relief through acupressure, aromatherapy, guided imagery, massage therapy, music therapy, and energy healing including Reiki and healing touch. "One of our goals is to give patients the tools they can use themselves," said Farrar.

This work to bring integrative therapies to inpatients is fully funded by charitable donations.

"Before my heart arrived, I was dying," said Linck. "What carried me through those days was what I learned early in my hospital stay. I truly believe that these integrative therapies helped me to survive."

Today, Linck feels "pretty amazing" and will soon attend graduate school in Boston.

"Anna's journey demonstrates the importance of medicine—the science, technology and the capacity to perform a heart transplant," said Lori Knutson, RN, BSN, HN-BC, executive director of the Penny George Institute. "For Anna to survive was about her being empowered to go the distance—that's what holistic healing is all about."