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New Heart for Man with Heart of Gold

New Heart for Man with Heart of Gold

When he lost his wife following a car crash, Gregory Welsh gave the gift of life to others by donating her organs. Fifteen years later, the 47 year old father received a donor heart transplant to prolong his own life.

“It’s a miracle I got this heart and I’m going to do everything I can to take care of it,” said Mr. Welsh. “I got a second chance and that means something to me.”

Welsh visited a local urgent care center in January 2011 after experiencing flu-like symptoms. Medical personnel discovered he had arrhythmias and a resting heart rate of 190, prompting them to send him immediately to an emergency room. Fifteen minutes after arriving by ambulance, Welsh went into cardiac arrest.

Ten days later he awoke with an artificial heart. Doctors said all four chambers of his heart had major blockage. That left only about 20 percent of his heart working properly, causing him to suffer a heart attack.

With the love and help of his 24-year-old daughter, Cassandra, Welsh was able to face the challenges of life with an artificial heart until a donor heart became available last May.

“I made the choice to donate her mother’s organs, so I’ve seen both sides of the donor network now,” he says.

Walsh now walks two to four miles a day and is working part time. He hopes to be back at work full time in the near future.

Related Reading

Source: SynCardia Systems, Inc. via PR Newswire

Photo: December 2011: SynCardia Total Artificial Heart recipient Greg Welsh post-transplant with his daughter Cassandra at her graduation from Arizona State University with her master’s degree in teaching. (PRNewsFoto/SynCardia Systems, Inc.)

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Ann Pietrangelo

Ann Pietrangelo is the author of No More Secs! Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Multiple Sclerosis and Catch That Look: Living, Laughing & Loving Despite Triple-Negative Breast Cancer. She is a freelance writer and member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Follow on Twitter @AnnPietrangelo

51 comments

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3:08AM PDT on Mar 22, 2012

When I applied for a driver's license, I automatically signed the back to become a donor. I just figured if I wasn't using them, maybe someone else could.

Of course that was many years ago, and I have put a lot of wear and tear on them - I'm not sure anybody would want them (LOL).

5:34PM PDT on Mar 18, 2012

Nice one.

2:18AM PDT on Mar 17, 2012

Thanks for the article.

9:53AM PDT on Mar 11, 2012


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9:02AM PST on Mar 6, 2012

Thank you for promoting organ donation. And thank you for telling my story. I have been reading through the comments and they are great.
I do want to clarify one thing I read. It is definitely possible to donate organs and be cremated. My wife was cremated after her organs were donated.
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Thanks again,
Greg Welsh

2:57AM PST on Feb 28, 2012

great read

4:19AM PST on Feb 26, 2012

We should all be donors whenever we can.

2:59AM PST on Feb 24, 2012

Do a good deed without strings and the universe comes back and pays you back in ways you never would believe.... a heart........... b/c he gave all from the heart. Karma indeed.

9:35PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

Wonderful story

9:23AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

please people, sign up to become an organ donor

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