“Brother” Through Transplant
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Hi, my name is Gary and this is my story. In July 1999 at age 43 I had a major heart attack that would determine the necessity for a heart transplant in order to survive. After speaking with my family and exploring all my options the decision was made to go to UMC in Tucson, AZ. I was put on board a Med-Plane to Tucson and left the life I loved behind. As luck would have it my mom lived in Tucson. She took me into her home, took care of me, loved me and supported me. I hung on for as long as I could but my heart disease was progressing and getting the best of me. On February 2010, I was surgically implanted with the Heart Mate II (LVAD), a life extending device used as a bridge to transplant. It is battery operated and it kept my heart beating until a donor heart became available. On March 25, 2010 our prayers were answered! I received the fantastic news this generous gift was ready for me. I will forever be grateful to my donor and the family, for even in their loss and grief, they gave this gift of life to not only me but also Paul. Their loved one continues to live on and in my deep desire to pay it forward for this generous gift, I support Unity for Life Tucson, an organization reaching out to those in need of financial and/or material assistance. I thank God everyday for this second chance at life, as well as my donor family who gave me a “Brother” through transplant, Paul. God Bless.