When the world’s first heart transplant was performed in 1967, it felt very much like news that the Wright Brothers had flow something called an airplane.
Taking a heart from one person and putting it another? Unfathomable.
Lewis Washkansky, of South Africa, died of pneumonia 18 days later. That led to an improvement in anti-rejection drugs and technique. By the ’70s, people were living up to five years after receiving a heart.
Science does things and now, assuming there’s a donor, someone getting a heart transplant isn’t a temporary fix to grab a few more years.
Robbie Grendahl, of Wadena, Minn., was 15 when he got his heart transplant. On Saturday, he was honored as the longest living male heart recipient in the nation, honored over at the weekend by the University of Minnesota Medical School, KARE 11 says. He got his in 1986.
Somewhere out there is a person who made the decision to donate a heart who also deserves recognition.
Every 10 minutes, someone is added to the list of people waiting for a heart transplant Every day, 20 people die waiting for one.
(h/t: Jay Sieling)