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The greatest gift of all: the beat goes on for 2 Mathews sisters

Two Mathews sisters share a bond that few others have.

Nine years after Kathy Hudgins of Susan received a heart transplant, her sister Patsy Brooks of Cobbs Creek had the same procedure. Today, both women are doing well with their new hearts.

Brooks received her heart transplant on Sept. 6 after a three-year battle with cardiomyopathy, caused by a mutation in the TTN gene. Hudgins received a heart transplant in 2010 after battling cardiomyopathy due to the same mutation.

The week before Thanksgiving 2016, Brooks and her husband traveled to Roanoke to visit their daughter Kelsey Moore. “Mom comes complaining of side pain and shortness of breath,” commented Moore. “And Dad had a cold.”

Moore and her husband Ben Moore dropped them off at Urgent Care and went to Walmart. When they returned, Brooks was being prepared to be transported to Lewis Gale in Salem because her heart rate was so high that it did not read on the electrocardiography (EKG).

Brooks underwent blood work and other te...

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