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Gerry's Story

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Heart Transplant

Temple heart transplant patient, Gerry, outside with his wife and granddaughter

A Family History of Heart Disease

Gerry’s grandfather and father both died of a heart attack in their sixties. Gerry had a heart attack at the same age, and despite getting more advanced treatment, his heart began to fail.

Gerry’s quality of life was declining and he was struggling with his daily activities as a history teacher. “I realized it when I took my students to the beach and couldn’t walk through the sand, or when I couldn’t finish a round of golf. It just slowly got worse and worse. I knew I was headed in the same direction as my father and grandfather.”

His doctors in central New Jersey tried changing his medications and increasing the doses, but Gerry’s condition continued to deteriorate. He was in end stage heart failure.  He was running out of options until his doctor recommended that he be evaluated for a heart transplant. Gerry chose Temple.

Time with Family Restored

“I was at the point where I couldn’t live like that. I was willing to do anything to get my life back and when they suggested the transplant, I had a tremendous sense of hope.”

Temple’s cardiology team found that Gerry’s heart disease was even more advanced than he had realized. They provided a personalized treatment program that helped stabilize his condition and get him ready for the heart transplant that he needed to save his life. He underwent the transplant with just weeks to live.

This is the healthiest I've felt in 20 years.

Gerry, Heart Transplant Patient

Today, for Gerry, family is everything. He and his wife of 45 years enjoy driving the old cars that he restores. He’s back to playing golf. His greatest joy though is being there for his grandchildren and being a part of their growing up. He’s at their sports events, cheering them on. He’s especially proud that he was there to see his grandson make the winning catch in his football game.

“Oh, I would have missed so much. These are the things that I always dreamed my retirement would include. That’s what I wanted out of this--quality of life. The transplant was the only thing that could give that back to me. This is the healthiest I’ve felt in 20 years.”