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Stories of Hope

Heart patients

I only had a 2% chance

A lot of times, when you hear the words heart failure, you think of the elderly. As a healthy 25 year old, never did I expect to hear those two words. And never did I ever expect to heart those two words while pregnant with my second. Peripartum Cardiomyopathy. After...

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A heart transplant is a miracle

My name is Jose Calderon. At the age of 35, I was in the prime of my life. I had a beautiful family – my wife, my daughters (ages 14 and 11) and my son (age 3 at that time). I was running a brand new business and I was on top of my game. And this business was allowing...

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Life is a gift

What motivated me to get involved and become a DonateLife Ambassador? Through UNOS’ intervention, my brother Jose was able to receive a heart transplant. In my community, there have been two organ recipients: one received a kidney and the other a liver transplant....

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Philip Rostek of Pittsburgh, PA

When i was very sick i came to a place where i met incredible people who were so inspiring that i will never forget their kindnesses, their expertise, and the drama of just meeting and then knowing them. My background is in personal expression. I became a masterpiece...

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Kim DeAngelo of Columbus, OH

September 14, 2011 is the day I refer to as “the day I got my smile back.” On that day, I underwent brain surgery to help alleviate symptoms of a Chiari Malformation, which occurs when the cerebellum (at the back part of the brain) slips from the skull and into the...

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Jhett Skaggs of Lexington, OK

My son was 10 months old when he received a heart transplant. It could not have come at a better time... he was dying. His heart was on the verge of giving up because he had unknowingly suffered with his heart condition since birth. He was placed on a device that...

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Merle Zuel of Bonner Springs, KS

Despite having an implanted pacemaker/defibrillator my health was still bad and I began experiencing more lethargy and more ventricular tachycardia, as I became weaker and weaker. It was determined by the heart failure team that a valve replacement would be my best...

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Jill Thorne of Rescue, CA

I received a heart transplant 22 years ago. I was born with a heart defect and after a couple of heart surgeries-the surgeons just decided to replace it 🙂 I was 17 when I received the transplant. Since then I have gone on to graduate highschool, obtain a bachelors...

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Simon Keith of Las Vegas, NV

Simon Keith holds the distinction of being the first athlete in the world to play a professional sport after undergoing a heart transplant. Keith was just 21 when, in July of 1986, he received the heart of a 17 year-old boy from Wales, who ironically died while...

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Jim Gleason of Beverly, NJ

Eighteen years ago, Oct 19, 1994, Roberto died, but his heart lived on, replacing the failing heart of a dying man in Philadelphia with his young athletic one. Every day that donor is honored with this life that returned to work just a few months after the transplant,...

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