Woman Stopped at Airport for Carrying Old Heart in Hand Luggage

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.18 - 2024 2:18 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Jessica Manning was stopped at airport security while carrying her old heart in her hand luggage.

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Jessica Manning, 30, originally from New Zealand, recently shared a remarkable story about her experience at airport security in Australia.

According to an article in the Mirror, Manning underwent a double heart and liver transplant eight years ago due to severe medical conditions that required over 200 operations throughout her life.

Initially, Manning's old heart was donated for scientific research, but it was returned to her after 10 months.

When she moved to Australia, she decided to bring her preserved old heart with her in her hand luggage.

At the airport, security officials detained her for an hour to ensure there were no health risks associated with transporting the organ. Once cleared, she was allowed to continue her journey.

Reflecting on the incident, Manning recalled, “So I was there for about an hour trying to get this dang heart through to Australia. I have it now though, and it’s safe in my wardrobe,” she told the New Zealand Herald.

Medical History

Manning's medical journey has been fraught with challenges.

Born with six heart defects, she underwent her first heart surgery at just five months old, with two more by age six. At 22, complications from her heart surgeries led to liver disease.

Despite initial medical hesitations, Manning was placed on the transplant list in April 2017. After a 16-month wait, she successfully underwent the life-changing double heart and liver transplant in 2018.

Before her transplant, Manning struggled with breathing and was limited in her activities.

Reflecting on the transformation post-surgery, she expressed profound relief: “Everyone asks me, ‘What’s the best part about having the transplant?’, and I just say, ‘I can breathe’.”