Back in December, five lucky people received the best Holiday gift ever—a new heart. Each year, 2,000 people in North America receive a new lease on life thanks to the amazing, life-saving miracle of heart transplantation.
But did you know that for every 2,000 who receive a new heart, there are 1,000 more of them patiently waiting for one?
Harold Priest was one of those people.
After struggling with heart disease for the last 20 years, he got the call on Dec. 27 that a new heart was waiting for him. Imagine living every day of your life taking a vast assortment of medications and wearing bulky devices the size of an iPad mini just to keep your heart beating (you’ll see these devices in the video below)? As Harold’s wife Debra describes it, “We’re used to waiting. It’s like living with a time bomb.”
After watching Harold’s story, please consider registering for the selfless, gracious act of becoming an organ donor. With just a few clicks, you could possibly save the life of someone like Harold one day or one of the 3,000 people waiting for their own hero.
The week that Harold received his new heart, four other people were saved by heart transplantation at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, the most hearts we have ever transplanted at once.
Since 2009, 508 heart transplants have taken place at Baylor Dallas with 43 of them happening in 2012 alone. Since the start of 2013, we have transplanted 12 new hearts with many more to come.
Medicine has come a long way in the field of organ transplantation. Did you know that the first human heart transplant took place Dec. 3, 1967 in Cape Town, South Africa? That’s almost 45 years to the date that Harold received his lifesaving gift.
That surgeons can take someone else’s heart and implant it into another person is mind blowing. What’s even more inspiring is that these people are total strangers. They have never met and never will, yet these amazing organ donors who are everyday people become the greatest heroes of all.
Harold hopes to one day meet the family of his organ donor and learn more about the person who volunteered to save his life. I don’t know about you, but these types of stories always restore my faith in humanity. I hope you enjoy Harold’s story as much as I did.