ACC honors transplant recipient as part of CardioSmart program

The American College of Cardiology has recognized Melissa Cappuccilli, a nurse and single mother of four who received a heart transplant in 2013, as a part of its “I am CardioSmart” contest.

The ACC established the program in 2013 to educate patients and support individuals dealing with heart disease conditions. Cappuccilli was among five people honored with awards this year. Diagnosed with arrythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia in 2000, she underwent ablations, heart mappings, five ICDs—and, finally, a heart transplant in 2013.

Now working full-time as a nurse and a month from completing her fifth half-marathon, Cappuccilli recently became a WomenHeart Champion and shares her story to inspire women to become involved in their heart health.

“I have been a cardiac patient for 18 years. When I look back on what I’ve been through, I could be very depressed, upset and continue to stay in the sick patient role,” Cappuccilli wrote at But I make the choice each and every day to ‘Begin each day with a grateful heart.’”

Read more about her story here.