Skip to main content

Driven by life’s
everyday moments

Life Changing Stories

Andrew, more years to spend with the love of my life

Heart Transplant Recipient

I met my wife Theresa when we were sophomores at the New Jersey School for the Deaf. I knew the minute we met that I wanted to be with her for the rest of my life. We got married, raised two children and have three grandchildren.

Unfortunately, I also knew that I had a family history of heart disease and about 15 years ago, I had a pacemaker installed to help my heartbeat keep the right pace. Then, in the summer of 2017, my doctor gave me news I wasn’t ready for — I was in end-stage heart failure. My heart was becoming enlarged and I would need a heart transplant.

In February of 2018, I was admitted to the hospital. It was going to be more difficult to find an adult heart that would fit my tall frame — I’m 6-foot-3. After about a month and a half of waiting for a donor heart, I celebrated my 58th birthday at Jefferson. A big group of nurses came into my room and sang “Happy Birthday” to me in sign language. My live sign-language interpreter, who we had 24/7, taught them how to do it. That was fantastic. Everyone in the hospital was sweet and really good to me during the wait. They made sure we had what we needed and explained everything to us thoroughly.

Two months later, just days after Theresa and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary, we received the best gift ever — news that they found a heart for me!

I went home nine days after my transplant and returned to work four months later. I used to get short of breath quite often when I had heart failure but that doesn’t happen anymore. I’m really thankful for the entire transplant team at Jefferson and grateful to have more years to spend with my family. 

Request an Appointment