Friday, February 18, 2011

Florida man one of only 10 people in the world who have survived a heart transplant for 25 years.

My Fox Tampa Bay
TAMPA - This is a check up that Frank Spurlin is used to. It's been part of his routine for the past 25 years.

Back in 1985, at age 42, Frank received a new heart. Dr. R. Vijay was his surgeon.

"To be able to say I've lived through it, that's amazing," Frank says.

Frank is one of only 10 people in the world who have survived a heart transplant for 25 years.

Back then, his family was told he may survive just five years, so you can imagine how blessed the Spurlin family feels now.

"It's just unbelievable, hard to put in words. A whole new extension of life," Frank says.

Dr. Vijay is the cardiac surgeon who brought heart transplants to Tampa General Hospital. Now, TGH is the fourth largest heart transplant hospital in the nation.

Dr. Vvijay says it's all about the patients.

"The driving force is to save someone's life. This was the driving force," he ays.

Frank Spurlin has been Dr. Vijay's dream patient: at death's door 25 years ago, but today, leading a normal life.

"His heart muscle, he has lived a long life and now has four grand children," he said.

For Frank, it's hard to put into words how much gratitude he has for everything from the person who signed up to be an organ donor and gave him his heart, to the steady hands of Dr. Vijay.

"When I wake up in the morning, I thank God to have another day," Frank says.

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Register to be an organ and tissue donor & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”
Register to be a donor in Ontario at Trillium Gift of Life Network NEW for Ontario: - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today!
For other Canadian provinces click here
In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov
In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register
In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register
Your generosity can save or enhance the lives of up to fifty people with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants (see allotransplantation). One tissue donor can help by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ or tissue transplant. Organs can save lives, corneas renew vision, and tissue may help to restore someone's ability to walk, run or move freely without pain. Life Begins with You

No comments: