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Leon-Heart Recipient

I started having problems with my heart in 2012. I had two heart attacks 23 days apart in January of that year. As time went on I ended up with 7 stints. Then in July of 2014 I had a massive heart attack and heart failure. I spent 15 days in the hospital. After getting out of the hospital my family Doctor decided to send me to the University of Kentucky for a second opinion.
At that time I had a cardiac MRI done that was followed by a procedure called CTO. This was done to try and clear arteries that were totally occluded. I had arteries that nothing could be done with them.
In February 2015 I had all the necessary tests ran for implant of a lvad and for transplant. One month later I was implanted with the LVAD. Then in September of 2015 I was placed on the transplant list.
Up until the day that I received the call I had hope of getting a heart. I woke up and was resigned to having to live the rest of my life with the LVAD.
At 12:45 in the morning of June 8th 2016 I received the call I had given up hope for. That call saved my life.
After transplant I was able to live my life, actually live it! I was able to run and play with my children who are still young, ages 14,11,8,7. Through all of this I’ve been truly blessed with them and my wife by my side !!
My friends and my sisters tell me that I’m their hero. I tell them thank you, but that I am far from a hero. To me, a Hero is someone that has gone above and beyond themselves.  For me, those Heroes are the people that have said “yes” to becoming a registered organ and tissue donor, and the families of those who have lost the ones they loved!
My thanks and gratitude is and always will be with my Donor and their family.
Leon W. Rutt