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David Waits, Heart Recipient

On December 14, 2014, I su­ffered a massive heart attack at my home. In an e­ ort to save my life, I had a quadruple bypass surgery. In critical condition and with a survival rate expectancy of 0-1%, it didn’t look good. Completely unaware of what was going on, I was transferred to University of Cincinnati Hospital Medical Center for further care.

On December 23, 2014, Dr. Louis placed an LVAD pump in me. After more than a month I was released to go home. The following year was rough. By the time that September came, the doctors found that my aortic valve was leaking and there was nothing that could be done. I needed a heart transplant to save my life.

On October 5, 2015 I went to the hospital to wait until a heart became available. This coupled with the deep depression from the last year did not make this easy. Not knowing what would happen, or if this transplant would come in time was scary. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months. The Friday after Thanksgiving a call came in. I was in the OR and then the surgery stopped. It was deemed that this heart wouldn’t work for me.

When I awoke and found out I was completely devastated. My health continued to fail and my nerves were shot. I wanted to go home. I longed for home but that wasn’t an option. I was slowly dying. As the months of December and January passed, I noticed my body was starting to shut down.

On February 2, 2016, Dr. Feldman came into my room. He said “We got a heart”. I started making phone calls. My family and friends arrived and o­ff to the OR I went. This heart was found to be a perfect match!

Today I am home and doing wonderfully. I encourage everyone to become an organ and tissue donor. You might be in the same situation one day that my family was put in. Your family member might need a heart, and you hope and pray that there is another family out there that has given a wonderful gift so someone else can go on living even though they lost a loved one.

David Waits

Heart Transplant Recipient