Local mother needs sudden heart transplant

Mom Needs Heart Transplant

The News10NBC Team details breaking News, Traffic and Weather.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – A young mother from Greece is fighting for her life at Strong Hospital. Sydney Pelusio was a healthy, 32-year-old wife and mother but last week, she got flu-like symptoms and within hours of going to an urgent care, was in total heart failure. Pelusio now needs a new heart or a miracle. 

“She is caring, she is loving, she’s a phenomenal mother, probably the best mother I know, a lot better than I ever was. She loves her family, she loves her children,” says Sue Vandervoot, Sydney’s mother.   

Her family says Sydney is the kind of person, you always want to be around. “She walks into a room and you just know because the energy changes, she just brings a light and joy with her literally everywhere,” her sister Stephanie Marquez tells News10NBC.

Sydney and her husband Rob are parents to 9-year-old Anthony and 3-year-old Lola so, when she started feeling sick last week, she initially pushed through it. A few days later, her family convinced her to go to an urgent care. “She was very dehydrated, her blood pressure was low, her heart rate was high, they gave her some fluids and she didn’t get any better,” Vandervoot explains. 

A doctor at the urgent care sent Sydney straight to Unity hospital, while she was there she had to be revived by doctors before being transported to Rochester General Hospital. 

“She’s in complete heart failure, she is on an ECMO which is a machine that is pumping the blood for her, she has a device in her left ventricle called an Impella, which is emptying the blood from that ventricle into her aorta, that is keeping her alive,” her mom explains. 

Doctors told Sydney that had she not gone to the urgent care when she did, she would have died at home. She’s now laying in a bed at Strong Hospital, waiting for a heart transplant.

“She tells me, she is in the fight of her life and she knows it and she’s not ready to die,” Vandervoot says.

Family has flown in from across the country to stay by Sydney’s bedside and support her husband and kids. They shared Sydney’s story with News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke as a warning to other women and mothers to listen to your body and act as soon as you can when you sense something is wrong.  

“I think she’s finding a lot of internal strength, she does not want to die, she wants to grow old with her husband and her family so, she’s hell bent and very determined,” Marquez says of the fight in front of her sister. 

The cardiac transplant team at Strong Hospital preformed 40 transplants in 2023, the most ever in a single year. So, it appears Sydney is in the right place, she just needs to wait and pray for the right match. 

You can donate to the family here.