Heart Transplant Patient Has New Lease on Life
Today in your health report... meet a man who received a heart transplant..has a look at his new lease on life..
Susan Hendricks reports...
Charlie Hoff's heart is 40 years younger than he is. He got a heart transplant because his own heart was left permanently damaged after a series of heart attacks.
Hoff said, "I was very very weak. I had lost over 60 lbs." He waited 9 months for a donor heart and it came just in the nick of time. He said, "And somebody said are you frightened? No not frightened, excited."
The operation was successful and the US Department of Health says 75% of heart transplant patients live at least 5 years after surgery. Hoff said, "I owe my life to someone I've never met and never will."
Charlie is now in cardiac rehab and takes daily anti-rejection medicines which result in a weaker immune system.
Emory Healthcare Cardiologist Dr. Andrew Smith said, "It's really a balance between wanting to prevent rejection and avoiding infection."
The medicines also have side effects. Smith said, "90% will have high blood pressure. Probably up to 40% may develop some form of diabetes."
Charlie has had a few setbacks including infections and pneumonia, but his prognosis is good and he's getting stronger.
Hoff said, "Now I'm thinking about doing the transplant games." An Olympic-style competition for transplant patients.
Charlie says he feels young at heart and grateful. He said, "Thank you lord for this day and any that follow. Here we are."
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