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Patient Stories

Drew Weaver

Drew Weaver

Drew was born with a congenitally malformed aortic valve, known as bicuspid aortic valve disease. In October 2012, he underwent surgery at a local hospital to have his aorta and aortic valve replaced, but after the surgery, his heart wouldn't start beating again... Read Drew's story
Marcela Padilla

Marcela Padilla

At age 20, Marcela gave birth to her son Santiago, but four days later, began to experience shortness of breath and fatigue. The pregnancy may have strained her heart, which was already weak due to a congenital condition, and she was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy... Read Marcela's story
Danielle Weston

Danielle Weston

Danielle was born with Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects connective tissue. In 2011, doctors discovered a massive infection of her heart that had led to endocarditis. Surgeons hoped to repair the damage to her heart in the operating room, but while sedated and waiting for the surgery to begin, Danielle’s heart stopped... Read Danielle's story
Stan Larkin

Stan Larkin

Stan had a life-threatening hereditary heart condition called arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), a disease that causes irregular heart rhythms and is a leading cause of sudden death among young athletes. The best option for Stan was a heart transplant, but doctors feared he wouldn't survive long enough to receive a donor heart... Read Stan's story
Bob Coyle

Bob Coyle

Bob was in and out of hospitals for close to two decades trying to manage his heart failure, caused by cardiomyopathy. He eventually developed atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter. Over time, he was implanted with five types of pacemakers/defibrillators. In February 2013, his heart began to fail rapidly and he was admitted to the hospital... Read Bob's story
Randy Shepherd

Randy Shepherd

As a teenager, Randy twice contracted rheumatic fever, which damaged his heart. However, he continued to enjoy sports and recreation throughout his life. But by June 2013, his failing heart could no longer support him... Read Randy's story
Jim LaFontaine

Jim LaFontaine

Jim was diagnosed with a heart murmur at age 30. Later, doctors also discovered that he was born with a bicuspid aortic valve. Medication and an aortic valve replacement stabilized his condition for 18 years, until he developed ventricular tachycardia and required a pacemaker and defibrillator. By 2012, his heart had weakened and he found himself struggling to breathe... Read Jim's story
Charles Okeke

Charles Okeke

Charles had received a heart transplant at age 30, but rejected the donor heart 10 years later. Due to his previous transplant, Charles's body produced antibodies that made it challenging for him to receive a matching donor heart. The SynCardia Total Artificial Heart was used to bridge him to a dual heart and kidney transplant. Read Charles' story

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