Colleen Higbee

November 2, 2020

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Colleen Higbee
Harmon Township, PA
Heart Transplant Patient

On the outside, you may think Harmon Township resident Colleen Higbee is healthy, but on the inside, she is battling heart disease and has been waiting for a heart transplant for more than five years. What first started out as back trouble was overlooked due to Colleen’s active lifestyle. Overtime, as the pain increased and she found herself easily out of breath, doctors realized there may be other problems.

After undergoing three heart surgeries, Colleen was placed on the transplant waiting list the day after Christmas of 2014. While the years have gone on and she waits for good news, she’s not waiting alone.

Early on, Colleen learned that service dogs can be trained to sense impending cardiac events, so she adopted Piers. He’s since become more than a service dog; he’s her companion. Now, she and Piers wait together and are grateful for every single day.

“Piers is a gentle reminder that I need to take care of myself. His presence reminds me to keep it simple, and to take one moment at a time, just like him. And if something starts to go on within my body, he is right there by my side to alert me. I will always be thankful that this experience has brought him into my life. We are a team now – no matter what the future holds.”